A significant number of central European and German refugees and émigrés sought refuge from war and fascism in Australia during the inter-war and post-World War Two years. While many were interned in camps, these refugees and émigrés eventually had an enormous impact across a number of fields (science, engineering, philosophy). Nowhere was this impact more remarkable than in art and design. They were particularly active in arts education in which they introduced a modernist approach that was cross-disciplinary and systematic. While there have been individual studies of this generation before, this larger research project aims to link these individual histories into one coherent study. The project will highlight a select number of case studies in order to explain the common aspirations of this generation of refugees and émigrés: their commitment to reform education as well as to cross-cultural studies; their experiments in colour and light; an emphasis on the core elements of art, design and architecture; and, finally, their reformist social vision.
Funding / Grants
- ARC Discovery Project (2017)