Public Lecture: Jewish émigré designers and their impact on Australian society

Jewish émigré designers and their impact on Australian society: Travel, training and trauma in the artistic careers of Louis Kahan, Ernest Marcuse and Walter Preisser

The contribution of Jewish émigré designers to Australian society is well-documented. European-trained practitioners who fled Nazi persecution and antisemitism before, during and after the Holocaust greatly transformed and enhanced Australian aesthetics in a range of arts and design disciplines.

This presentation will focus on three European-trained artists with successful artistic practices in Europe prior to the rise of Nazism and the outbreak of World War II: Louis Kahan, Walter Preisser and Ernest Marcuse. It will chart each artist’s journey from Europe to Australia and examine the effects of displacement on the creative careers.

This is part of a broader project which investigates the impact of Jewish émigrés, especially Holocaust survivors, on art and design in Melbourne.

Co-presented by Dr Anna Hirsh, MHM Senior Archivist and Dr Steven Cooke, Deakin University