Graphic artist Alfred Lomnitz, also known as 'Lom', was born into a Jewish family in Eschwege, Germany on 30 September 1892 and trained at the Weimar School of Applied Arts under Henri Van de Velde, although he was most strongly influenced by Paul Klee, who also taught there. Afterwards he moved to Berlin, where he held his first solo exhibition at the Neumann Gallery in 1919, showcasing his woodcuts and first signing his work 'LOM’. He also exhibited with the progressive Novembergruppe and the Free Secession. During the 1920s and 1930s he ran the Litz design studios for painting, graphics and design, but following Hitler's accession to the Chancellorship in 1933, left Germany for England. Here he continued his dual career and in June 1934 seven of his works on paper were included in the 'Exhibition of German-Jewish Artists' Work: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture' at the Parsons Gallery, London, organised by German-Jewish emigre dealer, Carl Braunschweig (later Charles Brunswick), which included in total 221 artworks by 86 artists suffering persecution under the Nazi regime. In summer 1940 Lomnitz was one of many German-speaking refugees, reclassified as ‘enemy aliens’ and was interned at Huyton camp, a recently completed housing estate outside Liverpool, alongside fellow refugee artists including Martin Bloch. He described Huyton as a place where ‘every corner of the camp is a potential picture’ and shortly after his release, he published an autobiographical account of his internment, under the title 'Never Mind, Mr Lom' (Macmillan, 1941), with a cover design of a figure silhouetted against coils of barbed wire.
Little is known of his career post-internment, although the onset of Parkinson’s curtailed his artistic activities. He received particular support from Cyril J. Ross, Ben Uri’s treasurer, who provided studio space and employment within his furrier business, Swears & Wells. Alfred Lomnitz died in London, England on 23 November 1953. Ben Uri held a retrospective in 1954, and Ross bequeathed a number of works to the Collection, but Lom’s reputation remained largely ignored until the 1980s when the dealer John Denham featured his work in both a solo and a group show. His work has been shown in numerous Ben Uri exhibitions including in 1980 and in the 2009-10 touring exhibition 'Forced Journeys'.