Eva Frankfurther was born into a cultured and assimilated Jewish family in Berlin, Germany on 10 February 1930. Following the rise of National Socialism in Germany, she escaped to London with her siblings (her father and step-mother followed afterwards) in 1939. Between 1946 and 1951 she studied at St Martin's School of Art, where her fellow students included Leon Kossoff and Frank Auerbach, who recalled Frankfurther's 'contempt for professional tricks or gloss' and her work as 'full of feeling for people'. Disaffected with the London art scene, after graduating, she moved to Whitechapel. For the next six years, she earned her living working the evening shift as a counter-hand at Lyons Corner House and, later, in a sugar refinery, leaving herself free to paint during the day. Inspired by artists as diverse as Rembrandt, Käthe Kollwitz and Picasso, she took as her subject the ethnically diverse, largely immigrant population among whom she lived and worked. Her studies of the new communities of West Indians, Cypriots and Pakistanis, portrayed both at work and at rest, with empathy and dignity, are her greatest achievement. Between 1948 and 1958 Frankfurther also travelled extensively in Europe. In her last year, she spent eight months living and working in Israel, returning to London in October 1958. Suffering from depression, she took her own life in 1959. During her lifetime Frankfurther avoided the art establishment but exhibited regularly in local group shows at the Whitechapel Art Gallery and the Bethnal Green Museum. Most recently, her works were included in the "Post-war Modern" exhibition at the Barbican Centre in 2022.





  • St Martin's School of Art, Londyn (student)



  • Postwar Modern: New Art in Britain 1945-1965, Barbican Centre (2022)
  • Migracje: Masterworks from the Ben Uri Collection, Ben Uri w Muzeum Gloucester (2019)
  • Highlights and New Acquisitions, Ben Uri Gallery (2018)
  • Liberators: Extraordinary Women Artists from the Ben Uri Collection, Ben Uri Gallery (2018)
  • Finchleystrasse: German Artists in Exile in Great Britain and Beyond 1933-45, Ambasada Niemiec we współpracy z Ben Uri Gallery and Museum (2018)
  • Refugees: The Lives of Others - Selected Works by Eva Frankfurther, Ben Uri Gallery & Museum (2017)
  • 100 na 100: Ben Uri - przeszłość, teraźniejszość, przyszłość, Ben Uri w Christie's South Kensington (2016)
  • Unexpected: Continuing Narratives of Identity and Migration, Ben Uri Gallery & Museum (2016)
  • Out of Chaos: Ben Uri - 100 Years in London, Ben Uri w Somerset House (2015)
  • Refiguracja lat 50: Joan Eardley, Sheila Fell, Eva Frankfurther, Josef Herman, L S Lowry, Ben Uri Gallery & Museum (2014)
  • Forced Journeys: Artyści na wygnaniu w Wielkiej Brytanii, ok. 1933-45, Ben Uri Gallery & Museum (2012)
  • Sztuka i migracja, The Barber Institute, Birmingham (2005)
  • Eva Frankfurther 1930-1959: Wystawa pamiątkowa, Galeria Boundary (2001)
  • Kunst im Exil in Grossbritannien 1933-45, Neue Gesellschaft fur Bildende Kunst, Berlin, Niemcy (1986)
  • Eva Frankfurther, Clare Hall, Cambridge (1979)
  • Eva Frankfurther 1930-1959: Retrospektywa, Ben Uri Art Gallery (1962)
  • East End Academy 1957, Whitechapel Gallery (1957)
  • Tercentenary Exhibition of Contemporary Anglo-Jewish Artists, Ben Uri Art Gallery (1956)
  • Akademia East End 1955, Whitechapel Gallery (1955)
  • East End Academy 1954, Whitechapel Gallery (1954)
  • East End Academy 1953, Whitechapel Gallery (1953)
  • East End Academy 1952, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Londyn (1952)
  • 7th Exhibition of Paintings, Lithographs & Sculpture by Students of St Martin's School of Art, The Coffee House Gallery, Trafalgar Square (ok. 1949-51)