Discovering Kurt Schwitters


Discovering Kurt Schwitters – Artist and Refugee

Prism Arts are delighted to be working in partnership with The Littoral Trust, Ambleside on our exciting new heritage project researching the life and times of prominent German Modern Artist Kurt Schwitters.

The project has been made possible by the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund.  Thanks to National Lottery players, members of Studio Theatre West and year 4 pupils from Distington Community School will research the life and times of the artist. 

With the support of Awaz, Cumbria project participants aim to work alongside volunteers from Cumbria’s present refugee community.

Project research will include visits to the Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, the Imperial War Museum, Manchester, The Merz Barn and Armit Museum Ambleside.  Trevor Avery of the Lake District Holocaust Project will present talks on Cumbria’s refugees and the rise of the Nazi Party during World War II.

The Project will conclude in a public exhibition at The Merz Barn and a new theatre production to be toured at The Beacon Museum, Rosehill Theatre and schools along the West Coast of Cumbria.

Kurt Schwitters was at the cutting edge of German Art during the 1920-30’s, creating his unique “Merz” work in reaction to Germany’s economic and political instability after World War One.  

In 1933 Germany’s Nazi Party swept into power and Schwitters unconventional work was deemed as “degenerate” and “un-German” by the Nazis.  

To escape persecution Schwitters took refuge in Norway then Scotland, suffering imprisonment and internment before finally moving to Ambleside, Cumbria where he lived until his death in 1948.  Schwitters’ story still resonates strongly today.

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