Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft
– 29 April 2018
Through this exhibition, the Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft hopes to rescue from oblivion the life and work of Elizabeth Friedlander (1903–1984). Like so many women artists and designers, Friedlander has remained relatively unknown despite the range of her striking designs. The exhibition is dedicated to the artist's life and work in the fields of design, typography and art.
Among Elizabeth Friedlander’s best-known works is the font “Elizabeth” developed for the Bauer Type Foundry in Frankfurt am Main and her book designs for the British publisher Penguin Books. In “20 Years of Penguin Essentials”, which runs alongside the exhibition about Friedlander, the museum showcases 100 Penguin publications. The selection was made by Penguin’s art director John Hamilton, and includes some designs by Elizabeth Friedlander, reflecting her relationship with the publishing house.
The exhibition on Friedlander presents typographic works, woodcuts, maps and commercial works by the artist and simultaneously tells the story of her life through events such as her escape to London from Nazi Germany in the 1930s, her friendship with poet and printer Francis Meynell and their collaboration with a wartime black propaganda unit. The museum also focuses on Friedlander’s link to the Meynell family in another parallel exhibition “The Meynells in Ditchling”, which traces the family’s history in Ditchling from the early 20th century. The granddaughter of Francis Meynell, Katharine Meynell is also represented in the exhibition with a work of her own and she is the guest curator of the Friedlander exhibition. As video artist and author, Meynell only recently scripted and produced a film on the life of Friedlander. The 23-minute film “Elizabeth” is screened in the museum's reading room during the exhibition. Another person who explored Friedlander's life is Pauline Paucker, who published the book “New Borders” after discovering the artist's archive in Cork. Following a curatorial tour by Katharine Meynell on 22 March 2018, Paucker will give a lecture entitled “In Pursuit of Elizabeth Friedlander – The Making of New Borders”.