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Friday, July 18, 2014

Cultural Connections in Ayr - Hannah Frank and her contemporaries in a summer festival!
Welcome to the July newsletter as we excitedly prepare for Hannah Frank’s work to play a central role in a summer celebration of Jewish art and heritage in Scotland. (And web designers, see below for a Web Request!)
The ‘Cultural Connections’ Festival of Jewish Arts and Culture is being staged by The Maclaurin Gallery, Ayr. 
It is a true cultural festival, focussed around an exhibition of drawings and sculpture by Hannah Frank together with art by Benno Schotz, and Josef Herman – all of whom are Jewish artists who worked in Glasgow in the last century – and photographs of Jews around Scotland this century by US photographer Judah Passow.    There are lots of connections between the four artists – Benno Schotz taught Hannah Frank; Judah Passow was at the launch of the Hannah Frank exhibition in Shetland last year; the Ben Uri gallery has lent the Josef Herman drawings to the Maclaurin Gallery and has also sent up ‘Sun’, a beautiful Hannah Frank drawing from 1943.
The exhibition runs from Sunday 27 July to Sunday 21 September 2014. Opening reception is Sunday 27 July from 2pm. Read on to find out how to get *your* invitation.
On Wednesday 30 July there will be a special evening at the Gallery focusing purely on Hannah Frank, starting at 7 p.m.  See the programme of events at  for further details.   At that evening one lady will get a special surprise!  You may remember that the drawing ‘Diaphenia like the Daffadowndilly’ (dating from 1928 when Hannah Frank was only 20) only recently resurfaced.  It was bought at auction earlier this year by a Hannah Frank fan as an anniversary present for his wife.  The name of the new owner of the drawing will be unveiled on this special Hannah Frank evening.  Let’s hope she likes it!

A Conference: Scottish Jewish Arts and Scottish Jewish Life
On 14 and 15 September The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) and the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre  (SJAC) are hosting a conference at the Maclaurin Gallery during the last week of the exhibition, as part of the European Week of Jewish Culture and Heritage (14-21 Sept 2014).   Highlights include:
• Harvey Kaplan, Director of the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre, speaking on the history of the Jewish community in Ayr, including the emerging story of Susanne Schaefer-Buck, fostered by the Hamilton Family of Rozelle House (where the Maclaurin Gallery is set) during the war. 
• A presentation on the Scottish Government funded inquiry Being Jewish in Scotland, with a panel and discussion on the contemporary experience of 'Being Jewish in Scotland' and how the Jewish experience relates to that of other minority identities.
• A chance to see the film ‘Hannah Frank, The Spark Divine’  and to hear from Sarah Thomas, the film’s director, about how she made this film, which came out in 2008 to celebrate my aunt’s 100th birthday and which was launched at the Scottish Parliament.
• Talks about Scottish Jewish artists and talks BY Scottish Jewish artists
On Sunday 21st September there’s a special kosher lunch, followed by a concert of Klezmer, Baroque and Scottish music with the fabulous international Adrianne Greenbaum trio.
Other activities during the exhibition  include family picnics, drawing, painting, stained glass making, creative writing, singing, dancing, tree-dressing and Ipad-art workshops, storytelling, and ranger-led walks in the park of Rozelle House.   All the events are FREE except for the lunchtime concert on the closing day.

The opening reception for the exhibition is Sunday 27 July. It begins at 2pm with a talk by photographer Judah Passow, and there’ll be Klezmer music by the wonderful Celter Schmelter. If you would like to come email me at and I’ll send you back an invitation by return.   Look forward to seeing you there!
Cultural Connections – 27 July – 21 September 2014. Maclaurin Gallery, Rozelle Estate, Monument Road, Ayr, KA7 4NQ.  Tel: 01292 443708.

Regular readers will know that Hannah’s art has been exhibited across the length and breadth of the UK as well as internationally. Fascination with her work has led to several innovative projects, particularly in the field of education. You may recall the national Hannah Frank poetry competition in Scotland in 2009. Her art has also inspired teachers and pupils at schools in the UK and in California.   The Maclaurin exhibition continues the links between Hannah Frank and education.  In partnership with the Ben Uri Gallery, London, we are developing a Learning Pack for schools, linking the work of  Hannah Frank and Benno Schotz with trees, the environment, and Jewish traditions; and we are inviting schools from all over Scotland to visit the exhibition during September to work with the Learning Pack.  
Our three Hannah Frank graduate internships have helped make The Maclaurin exhibition possible.
Not only have they helped with setting up the exhibition, they are carrying out other vital work to preserve and promote knowledge about Hannah’s art, life and her Jewish heritage.
Marzanna, Angela and Maria with Fiona on the way to Ayr at the
 beginning of the planning process

The internships came via the Scottish government-funded Adopt an Intern organisation.  The three interns are Marzanna Antoniak, who has worked with curator Dianne Gardner at the Maclaurin Gallery to set up the events programme, Angela Short, who is working with the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre to complete the archiving of the Hannah Frank and Lionel Levy Collection there, and also helping with the curating of the exhibition, and Maria Simou, who’s been working on social meda and also working with Angela on the brilliant, detailed information labels you’ll see in the Hannah Frank section of the exhibition.  Plus we have an award-winning photographer Claire Maxwell, a Glasgow School of Art graduate herself, who has been documenting all the work setting up the exhibition, and who will have her own show at the Maclaurin Gallery from Sunday 7th September – and Lauren Pass, who has produced a fantastic  illustrated timeline linking Hannah’s art works with the archival material, which you’ll be able to see at the exhibition. Here's a small part of it.....

To celebrate Summer we have a Two for One offer on four signed prints.  If you order a signed copy of ‘In Thoughts of the Visions of the Night’ (1930) for £200 from the webshop you can have the exuberant Spring Frieze (1945) completely free; or if you order  ‘Woman with Birds’ (1947) for £100 from the webshop you can have the beautiful ‘Girl at Window’ (1952), free.  These offers will run until the end of the show.


Order via the Hannah Frank website at
The offer is not highlighted online; just order your first choice and write the name of your second choice print in the ‘comments’ section.

This bronze Hannah Frank ‘reclining woman’ (1964) is part of  a lovely exhibition running in Kirkudbright, Dumfries & Galloway.    The Glasgow Girls 1920-1960 is a sequel to the highly successful ‘Glasgow Girls: Artists and Designers 1890-1930’ exhibition shown in 2010. There were over 500 visitors to the first day alone!  

28 June - 25 August 2014, Kirkcudbright Town Hall Open Daily from 10am - 5pm including Sundays Admission Free, donations welcome.

The Glasgow School of Art was such an integral part of Hannah’s life. In fact she was synonymous with it. We were horrified when the fire broke out there in May and I wept at the loss of the Mackintosh Library, the students’ and staff’s work and irreplaceable documents and artworks. My aunt donated a bronze and plaster cast of ‘Reclining Figure 1975’ to the GSA some years ago, and we haven’t had news yet as to whether these pieces have survived.  
With all this is mind we are donating £5 from the sale of every copy of the book Hannah Frank, A Glasgow Artist – Drawings and Sculpture, to the GSA Fire Fund. Order this book here (postfree) and we’ll do the rest
We are getting lots of new likes for our Facebook page. This is a great way to keep people updated on a regular basis and the posts give rise to conversations and, in some cases, reminiscences. We have been posting discoveries from the Scottish Jewish Archives there too. For example, we posted a sketch from Hannah Frank's personal diary (Saturday 19 March 1927) portraying herself as proud of her new university tie which engaged fans. You can join us at
And there’s also a Facebook page where you can find out more about the Maclaurin Gallery activities – you’ll find it here.
If you live in Dumfriesshire rather than Ayrshire you only have to wait till November for the artworks to come back to you – we’re going back to the Nail Factory in Dalbeattie later in the year!  More news soon…..
See you in Ayr over the summer I hope!
OH and FINALLY – we are looking for someone to take over the Hannah Frank website from our great hostess Fiona Fahlin who's doing New Things.  We have a beautiful new design for it and need a new host and webguru to incorporate Lauren Pass’s amazing new design into a smooth new site and do a bit of a sortout of the shop – ideally looking for someone who would do it for part money and part Hannah Frank signed prints, but it could just be for money..!  please get in touch or ask your techie contacts to get in touch if you’re interested.    

With all good wishes,
Fiona Frank
Hannah Frank Art

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