Refuge and Renewal: Migration and British Art

14 Dec 19–1 Mar 20

Price: Regular price £6.95 Sale

Book online today and save over £1 on adult admission tickets. Please note: your ticket also grants access to Africa State of Mind. Purchasing a Gift Aid ticket will enable us to claim an extra 25p of Gift Aid for every £1 you donate. With your support, people of all ages can be inspired by our exhibitions and creative activities. To enable us to claim Gift Aid, please give your full name, first line of address and postcode at the checkout. By purchasing this ticket you agree that you have read our Gift Aid Declaration.

This major touring exhibition is a timely exploration of the impact of artist refugees on art in Britain, taking a perspective across the last 150 years.

The migration of creative individuals and groups has always been a source of innovation and cultural cross-fertilisation. This exhibition explores the influence of émigrés who came from eastern and central Europe during the 1930s and 1940s. Curated by Dr Peter Wakelin, the exhibition examines how they were perceived by their peers in Britain and the extent to which their influence excited or inspired new art.

Artists include Joan Eardley, Josef Herman, Ben Nicholson and Kurt Schwitters. The exhibition looks back to the temporary exile of refugees from the First World War and forward to the present, when the reception of refugees and their contributions to British life are more contentious than ever.

Many of the artists present extraordinary and deeply moving stories of escape from dispossession, persecution, torture, intellectual oppression and war. The welcome for foreign artists has not always been positive and has included critical hostility, financial difficulties, personal tragedy and even internment, yet they have often exerted a remarkably direct influence on British contemporaries.

Image credit (1): Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), La Route, effet de neige (detail), 1879, oil on canvas. New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester, UK. Reproduced courtesy of Leicester Arts and Museums Service. © Artist's Estate. Photo © Leicester Arts & Museums / Bridgeman Images / Image credit (2):  Martin Bloch (1883–1954), Miracle in the Internment Camp (detail), 1941, oil on canvas, 68.6 x 78.7cm © Martin Bloch Trust. Photo credit: Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge 
Part of Insiders/Outsiders, a nationwide arts festival taking place throughout 2019 to celebrate refugees from Nazi Europe and their contribution to British culture 

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Opening times

This ticket may be redeemed any day that we are open within the exhibition dates (14 Dec 19–1 Mar 20).

Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5.30pm
Sunday 11am-5pm
CLOSED Mondays
Last admission 30 minutes before closing. The RWA occasionally closes early for special events. Please call ahead or check the website for details.

Christmas Opening Hours:

Closed 24, 25 and 26 December, reopening 27 December
Closed 30, 31 December and 1 January, re-opening 2 January
Closed Mondays

Ways to Pay

ONLINE TICKETS: Save over £1 on adult admission tickets by booking online at least 12 hours before your visit. Simply show your email order receipt to reception to gain entry. Please note that each ticket can only be used once. 

RWA ART PASS: The Art Pass allows you to visit any RWA exhibition, as many times as you want, for one whole year. 


Adults: £7.95 (includes an 80p donation) £6.95 online
Concessions: £6.75 (includes a 70p donation). Pay on the door
Under 18s/SGS, UoB & UWE students: FREE
RWA Art Pass Holders: FREE Purchase an Art Pass
Friends of the RWA: FREE Join today
National Art Pass holders: 50% discount on ticket price. Pay on the door

Gift Aid Declaration: Purchasing a Gift Aid ticket will enable us to claim an extra 25p of Gift Aid for every £1 you donate. By purchasing a Gift Aid ticket you agree that you have read and agree to the following Gift Aid Declaration:

Please treat this entry ticket to the RWA as a Gift Aid Donation. I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations in that tax year, it is my responsibility to pay any difference.   

Refuge and Renewal: Migration and British Art Gallery