Jankel Adler's Sketchbooks – 'His life was one long journey'

Discover the life of Jewish artist Jankel Adler through his sketches, held in Tate's archive

A collection of sixteen sketchbooks in Tate's Archive help shed some light on the fascinating life of Polish-Jewish artist Jankel Adler.

Forced to leave Germany in 1933, Adler spent the rest of the decade moving through various cities in Europe. After the outbreak of the Second World War, he joined the Polish Army in France. In 1940 he was evacuated to Scotland and spent the remainder of his life in the UK.

His sketchbooks cover the period of 1933-49 and help us trace the development of his artistic style throughout this tumultuous period. They allowed Adler to work when his itinerant existence kept him from easels and canvas, with many pages filled with studies and ideas which would be later worked into finished pieces.

In this short film, David Aukin and Glenn Sujo explore the sketchbooks in more detail.

The sketchbooks were catalogued and digitised as part of the Émigré Art Archives Project, generously funded by the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust.

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