Five giant murals by a celebrated German Jewish artist have re-emerged for public display to mark international Refugee Week.
The huge 12ft canvasses by Hans Feibusch were commissioned by the late Rabbi Hugo Gryn and hung in West London Synagogue (WLS) until they were removed almost a decade ago.
Born in Frankfurt in 1898, Feibusch left for London in 1933, as Hitler attained power in Germany. He led a long life, eventually dying in Camden in 1998, just four weeks shy of his 100th birthday.
He is still Britain’s most prolific muralist, creating 35 murals for Anglican churches and cathedrals, as well as works for other public buildings, after his work was displayed as “degenerate” by the Nazis.
Marking international Refugee Week 2021, the Ben Uri Gallery and St Bonifatius Church teamed up to restore to public view the series of five canvasses, with help from the German Embassy in London.
Described as “vibrant and monumental”, they relate to biblical stories from the Old Testament exploring issues of faith, sacrifice, courage, love, and redemption.
Gryn, who was a Holocaust survivor, commissioned the oil paintings for Stern Hall at WLS in 1973. After their removal in 2012, they were acquired for the Ben Uri Collection by patrons.
Today they are installed on long-term loan at St Bonifatius, the German-speaking Roman-catholic church in the heart of the East End, which was once the centre of London’s Jewish community, and can now be seen by visitors.
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