Ben Uri Gallery and Museum

1st January 1970

Ben Uri Gallery and Museum was founded over a hundred years ago in 1915 in the Jewish ghetto of Whitechapel in the East End of London by an immigrant Russian artist, Lazar Berson, who came to London in 1914 from Paris where he shared an apartment with fellow Lithuanian artist Jacques Lipchitz. The museum is a registered charity and the only specialist art institution in Europe addressing universal and ever-more central issues of identity and migration through the visual arts.

Our collection principally reflects the work, lives and contribution of British and European artists of Jewish descent, now extensively interpreted within the wider context of twentieth and twenty-first century art history, politics and society.

From our inception as an art society in Whitechapel in 1915, to our current status as a museum with an international reach, the collection has grown to more than 1300 works across 30 different mediums. Made up of both historical and contemporary works, the Ben Uri collection includes master works by seminal artists including Auerbach, Bomberg, Chagall, Epstein, Gertler, Grosz, Herman, Levy, Liebermann, Soutine and Wolmark. It spans 120 years and includes 380 artists from 35 countries, of which 67% are émigrés and 27% women. More about our history can be accessed from our 100+ year timeline, online gallery and archives.

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