Ben Uri collection

Portrait of Israel Zangwill

Artist information

Name Alfred Wolmark (1877-1961)

Born Warsaw, Poland

Died London, England

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Alfred Wolmark was born in Warsaw, and moved to England with his family in 1883, first to Devon and then to the East End of London. He trained at the Royal Academy (from 1895), where he added the English 'Alfred' to his name, exhibiting there (1901-36), as well as with the Allied Artists Association (1908-16) and the International Society (1911-25). He had his first solo exhibition at Bruton Galleries in London (1905). Wolmark's teenage years in London’s East End and two lengthy stays in his native Poland between 1903-6, had a huge visual and spiritual, impact on his early Rembrandtesque work. In July 1911, after an artistic epiphany on honeymoon in Concarneau, Brittany, Wolmark jettisoned his early methods in favour of the ‘New Art’ and embarked upon the pioneering 'colourist' path that he followed for the next two decades of his working life. Wolmark exhibited regularly with the Ben Uri Art Society, as well as at the Grafton (1911, 1916, 1917) and Whitechapel Galleries (1910, 1914, 1927, 1956). In 1915 he co-founded the JAAS (Jewish Association of Arts and Sciences) with Adrian Alfred Woolfstein (Adrian Wolfe). Despite enjoying success within the Jewish community, Wolmark was rejected from The London Group (1914) and the Royal Academy (1938).

Object Details

Date 1925

Object type drawing

Medium pen and ink on paper

Materials and techniques ink | pen (medium) paper (support)

Unframed 24 x 21 cm

Framed 40.5 x 35.5 cm

Signed (lower right): 'Wolmark 1925'

Acquisition Presented by the artist

Accession number 1987-439

Display status not on display

British author Israel Zangwill (1864 – 1926), the son of Eastern-european Jewish immigrants, schooled in Spitalfields, became known as 'the Jewish Dickens' or 'the Dickens of the Ghetto'. His best-known novel 'Children of the Ghetto: A Study of a Peculiar People' (1892) was highly influential and his play 'The Melting Pot' popularised this term to describe the American absorbtion of multi-national immigrants and was praised by President Roosevelt.

Selected exhibition history

1935 Israel Zangwill Memorial Exhibition

1944 Opening Exhibition

1945 Exhibition of Paintings by A.A Wolmark (Konstam Collection), Dobrinsky Paris, and a selection of work from the Ben Uri Collection

1946 Subjects of Jewish Interest: Paintings, Sculpture & Drawings

1951 Festival of Britain, Anglo-Jewish Exhibition 1851-1951

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© Alfred Wolmark estate