Price  £15.95
Format  Paperback
Published  2001
Length  120 pages
Illustrations  70 pages B&W and Colour
ISBN  1870015762


Eva Frankfurther
Monica Bohm-Duchen


“West Indian, Irish, Cypriot and Pakistani immigrants, English whom the Welfare State had passed by, these were the people amongst whom I lived and made some of my best friends. My colleagues and teachers were painters concerned with form and colour, while to me these were only means to an end, the understanding of and commenting on people.”

Eva Frankfuther


Eva Frankfurther was born in Berlin in 1930 into a cultured and assimilated Jewish family, which emigrated to London in 1939 to escape Nazi Germany.

Frankfurther studied at St Martin’s School of Art from 1946-1951, where her fellow students included Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossof. She was, however, out of sympathy with the formalist emphasis of much of the teaching there. After graduating, she went to live in Whitechapel and for the next siz years concentrated on her painting during the day whilst earning her living by working the evening shift as a counterhand at Lyons Corner House and, later, in a sugar refinery. As the subjects of her painting and drawing she chose the ethnically diverse, largely immigrant population among whom she lived and worked. She exhibited regularly and successfully at the Whitechapel Art Gallery and at Bethnal Green Museum.

During these years she also travelled extensively in Hollan, France, Germany, Italy and Greece, and in 1958 lived and worked in Israel. The letters she wrote on her travels are full of vivid descriptions and penetrating insights about art and artists. After returning to London Eva Frankfurther succumbed to depression; she took her own life, at the age of only twenty-eight, in 1959.

Throughout her short by productive career, Frankfurther’s sensitive and humane art was inspired by a love of and compassion for ordinary working people. In mood, her paintings range from the tragix and somber to the tender and lyrical; while her drawings are by turn poignant and witty. Posthumously, her work has featured in exhibitions in London, Cambridge, Bedford, Berlin and most recently in Leicester. Her best work has affinities with that of Käthe Kollwitz and displays her deep reverence for Rembrandt.