Ben Uri Research Unit: For the Study of the Jewish and Immigrant Contribution to British Visual Arts since 1900

  • WHAT IS Ben Uri Research Unit

    WHAT IS Ben Uri Research Unit

    The Ben Uri Research Unit for the Study of the Jewish and Immigrant Contribution to the Visual Arts in Britain since 1900 is based at Ben Uri Gallery and Museum at 108A Boundary Road, St John's Wood, London NW8 ORH.

  • WHO IS Ben Uri Research Unit?

    Sarah MacDougall -  Director

    Rachel Dickson - Consultant Editor

    Nicola Baird - Research Officer

    Reka Vajda - Research & Collections Officer

    Irene Iacono - Research Officer


    Its aim is to centralise research on and record the Jewish and immigrant contribution to British visual culture since 1900, principally via our digital resource known as BURU online. This is a long-term project and examples of those currently under research are available to review through the links provided.


    Further outcomes of Ben Uri Research Unit include our programme of exhibitions, related events and publications, audio recordings (including oral histories, curatorial and guest talks), film, and links to external resources.


    BURU online is the first comprehensive online resource recording the lives and careers of major Jewish and immigrant contributors to British visual culture since 1900. It includes immigrant artists (and those born to immigrant parents within ten years of their arrival) and related professionals (e.g. curators, gallerists, dealers, patrons, publishers, critics, teachers and art suppliers), as well as their professional affiliations and networks.


    This database is the principal outcome of our ongoing research and is an extension of previous research carried out by our Collections and Curatorial team for our related site exploring the Ben Uri Collection. The information is searchable in a number of ways which are all detailed in the Collection menu.


     BURU online is aimed at researchers, academics, students, provenance researchers, those interested in exile and migration studies, and interested members of the public, including family members and estates, auction houses, art dealers, journalists, politicians and the publishing industry.


    Our database includes the following people:

  • Oil painting of a self-portrait of Henryk Gotlib

    1. Artists

    • Immigrant artists to Britain since 1900

    • Artists born to immigrant parents within 10 years of the former's arrival 

    • Artists adversely affected by the period of National Socialism c.1933-45.




    Pictured: A self-portrait of Krakow-born artist, Henryk Gotlib, who came to London in 1938. 

  • Black and white photograph of art historian, Ernst Gombrich


    • Immigrant scholars

    • Immigrant curators

    • Immigrant critics

    • Immigrant teachers

    • Immigrant art suppliers

    • Immigrant gallerists

    • Immigrant dealers

    • Immigrant patrons



    Pictured: The Viennese-born art historian, Ernst Gombrich, who arrived in Britain in 1936. (Wikimedia Commons - Bert Verhoeff / Anefo / CC BY-SA)  

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