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Hutchinson Camp satirical menu

Date made: 1940-1941

Description: A handcoloured satirical menu by Helmut Weissenborn produced in Hutchinson Internment Camp. Collected by Dr Klaus E. Hinrichsen (1912-2004) during his time as an internee in Hutchinson Camp. Hinrichsen was a young art historian who had fled to Britain in the 1930s to avoid Nazi persecution, and found himself interned with some of the leading German refugee artists of the day. He appreciated and recognised the significance of the material being produced in Hutchinson Camp, and began to collect and exhibit pieces within the camp. The resulting collection contains examples of the camps leading artists such as Erich Kahn, Hermann Fechenbach, Helmut Weissenborn, Bruno Ahrends, Fritz Kraemer and Paul Henning.

Helmut Weissenborn (1898-1982) was a painter and wood-engraver born in Leipzig in Germany. He studied at the Academy of Graphic Art, Leipzig and went on to teach there. In November 1938 he lost his job at the Academy because his wife was Jewish, and emigrated to London, where he found the company of other exiled artists in organisations such as the “Freier Deutscher Kulturbund” [Free German Cultural Association]. In 1940 he was interned for six months at Hutchinson Camp on the Isle of Man. During this time, he not only worked in the camp kitchen, he also took an active role in the cultural life of the camp. He printed decorative invitations to concerts, concert programmes, postcards and the camp newspaper. He also created works reflecting his situation with picture motifs of the camp. Materials he could not come by were improvised: he found left over linoleum in the attic of house no. 28 (kitchens) and mixed printing ink from margarine and graphite. He remained in Britain after the war. Examples of his work are also held at the V&A.

Materials: paper

Object name: print

Collection: Art Collection

ID number: 1996-0070/12



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