March 2024: Arthur Fleischmann Symposium
The symposium "Arthur Fleischmann (1896-1990) in Context: The Significance of the Central European Sculptor's International Career" will take place on Friday 22 March 2024 in London. The event is being hosted by the Slovak Embassy in London and organised by the Arthur Fleischmann Foundation in conjunction with the Public Statues and Sculpture Association (PSSA).
June 2023: Arthur Fleischmann Mermaid on Antiques Roadshow
Arthur Fleischmann's Perspex sculpture "Mermaid" was featured on a recent episode of Antiques Roadshow (Series 45 Episode 15 Clissold Park, Stoke Newington), broadcast on the BBC. You can watch the episode on catch-up on the BBC iPlayer.
February 28th 2023: Arthur Fleischmann Museum Closes
The main room of the museum.
Image credit: Courtesy of the Arthur Fleischmann Foundation.
We were disappointed to learn that the Arthur Fleischmann Museum at Biela Ulice 6 in Bratislava closed on 28th February 2023. We understand the building is to be refurbished. The Arthur Fleischmann Foundation in London is in discussions with the Mestske Museum in Bratislava concerning the future.
November 23rd 2022: 20th Anniversary of the Arthur Fleischmann Museum in Bratislava
Invitation to the special guided tour.
Image credit: Courtesy of the Arthur Fleischmann Museum.
The 20th Anniversary of the inauguration of the Arthur Fleischmann Museum (AFM) in Bratislava was celebrated on November 23rd 2022. Dr Zuzana Francova, curator of the museum, conducted a special guided tour of the museum for members of the public.
Image credit: Courtesy of the private archives of Dr Zuzana Fracova.
Dr Francova says "I feel proud to announce that our November event in AFM was really very successful! People were interested and delighted. I had a very good impression."
We look forward to the next 20 years!
October 25th, 2022: Arthur Fleischmann archive transported to Tate Britain
This very substantial collection of artist's papers, amounting to some 6,000 items, has been transferred to Tate Archive, housed in the Hyman Kreitman Reading Rooms, at Tate Britain. The collection has already been comprehensively digitised by the estate with access to the digital version confined to account-holders*. The paper archive will be available to researchers more generally by prior appointment in the Hyman Kreitman Reading Rooms, once items have been checked, re-housed and numbered and the catalogue converted to the database used by Tate Archive.
In the course of his life, Arthur Fleischmann (1896-1990) worked in what is present-day Slovakia, Austria, Bali, Australia and Britain. The documents in the archive all date from between 1948, when he moved to England, and his death in 1990. They provide many fascinating insights into a sculptor's life and practice, as well as the world in which he lived, over four decades. To mention some of the highpoints, the back-stories of Arthur Fleischmann's contributions to the Battersea Festival of Britain site, for which he created a Miranda Fountain in 1951, the LCC's Holland Park sculpture exhibition of 1957 (Lot's Wife in Perspex), the Brussels World Exhibition of 1958, where Fleischmann's aluminium and Perspex Resurrection. fronted the Vatican pavilion, and Expo 70 in Osaka, where his Perspex fountain, Harmony and Progress, adjoined the British pavilion, can all be followed in these papers.
Sitters and friends included some colourful figures, such as Trevor Howard and Kathleen Ferrier, but, whilst Fleischmann did two excellent busts of Howard, the archive contains only one letter from the subject. In the case of Kathleen Ferrier, a proposed memorial to her, which was never realised, generated more paperwork than did the portrait of her. Letters from some other figures in the public eye are more numerous, especially as in the case of old friends from Australia, the conductor, Sir Charles Mackerras, and the comic actor, Barry Humphries. Between 1957 and 1985, it has been estimated that Fleischmann was involved in at least twenty-two commissions for Roman Catholic churches, providing Stations of the Cross and a great variety of devotional sculpture. This involved much epistolary negotiation with members of the priesthood, which will render the archive indispensable to specialists in this area, illuminating on the Catholic church's attitude to the visual arts, and, in an English context, suggesting a degree of emulation of the artistic splendours of Coventry Cathedral. A more hedonistic aspect of Fleischmann's oeuvre, decorative sculpture for cruise-ships, is also documented in these papers.
Whilst all the material in the archive is from the English period of Fleischmann's life, he did remain in contact with many of his colleagues and collaborators from Central Europe and Australia. Particularly interesting are a collection of letters, in German, from the Austrian architect Robert Kramreiter, with whom Fleischmann had worked in the 1930s. A great deal of correspondence with the Australian painter, Lloyd Rees, from the 1950s on, concerns a retrospective exhibition of Fleischmann's work. This was long in the planning, but eventually put on in the David Jones department store in Sydney in 1987.
On technical matters, the copious amount of correspondence with founders, will probably be of great interest to historians of bronze-casting technology, and as a pioneer of Perspex sculpture, sometimes on a colossal scale, Fleischmann's correspondence with the suppliers of synthetic materials, in particular ICI, will be of interest to historians of design and industry.
Most of Fleischmann's record photographs of sculpture is included in the gift to Tate. Some photographs, which can be classified as works of art in their own right have been retained in private hands. Those from the Bali period, when Fleischmann's creativity in photography rivalled his sculptural activities, are already available to the public, splendidly reproduced in the publication Bali in the 1930s. Photographs and Sculptures by Arthur Fleischmann, (ed. Frans Jansen. Text by Paul de Bont and Dominique Fleischmann), Wijk en Aalburg, 2007.
It would be difficult, if not impossible, given the diversity of Fleischmann's activities and the extent of his sociability, to second guess all that a researcher might learn from such a collection. We only hope here to have pinpointed a few of the topics on which it might prove of interest.
* Please contact the Arthur Fleischmann Foundation at email@example.com for access.
October 25th, 2022: Arthur Fleischmann archive transported to Tate Britain
Work on organizing and cataloguing the papers of Arthur Fleischmann was begun by Martin Greenwood in the late 1990s. Since then the trustees of the Arthur Fleischmann Foundation have contributed to this task, along side our archivist Peter Simpson. Finally today the approximately 6000 items of archive material were transported in 74 boxes to Tate Britain on Millbank in London. The archive will be kept in perpetuity by Tate for the nation. Once the papers have been checked, packaged into acid-free stationery, and numbered the public will be able to access the archive in the Hyman Kreitman Reading Rooms at Tate Britain on Millbank in London.
September 2022: Arthur Fleischmann sculpture goes to the Mining Art Gallery
Clare Baron, Head of Exhibitions & Interpretation at The Auckland Project in Bishop Auckland, visited the studio today to meet Joy and Dominique Fleischmann and to collect the small maquette of "Miner", a collection of drawings and other items that have been acquired by the Mining Art Gallery. The box in the foreground contains the very fragile wax maquette. Joy and Dominique look forward to visiting Bishop Auckland to see the Mining Art Gallery and the other initiatives of The Auckland Project very soon.
August 2022: Packing the Arthur Fleischmann Archive
The final delivery of the Arthur Fleischmann Archive to Tate Britain in London edges closer. Tom Brodie, Peter Simpson and Dominique Fleischmann spent the day at Arthur Fleischmann's studio packing the many thousands of letters, and photographs in preparation for transport. The archive will be kept in perpetuity by Tate for the nation. The public will be able to access the archive in the Hyman Kreitman Reading Rooms at Tate Britain on Millbank in London.
August 2022: Arthur Fleischmann Maquette Acquired by the Gemini Collection/Zurbaran Trust
Image credit: Mining Art Gallery, Bishop Auckland. Courtesy of The Auckland Project
The Arthur Fleischmann Foundation are delighted to announce that the trustees of the Gemini Collection/The Zurbarán Trust in Bishop Auckland recently approved the acquisition of a collection of works of art by Arthur Fleischmann. The works of art relate specifically to British Coal Mining heritage, so it is appropriate that the Mining Art Gallery of the Auckland Project will act as custodians of the collection.
Image credit: Miner, maquette. Courtesy of Dominique Fleischmann
The centrepiece of the collection is a small maquette entitled Miner in wax that was created by Fleischmann in 1962. The composition depicts a miner carrying a rock of newly mined Anthracite on his shoulder. This piece was modelled as a study of the composition for a major commission awarded to Fleischmann by the National Coal Board in 1962. The subtitle of the sculpture is "From men and machines comes forth coal".
The final sculpture is many times life size in bronze, and was mounted on a replica trepanning machine that spouted water over the sculpture from the numerous nozzles of the machine. It was unveiled in 1964 in a purpose-built pond in the grounds of the headquarters of the National Coal Board at Anderton House, Lowton near Manchester.
Today the sculpture can be found at the centre of the Cannington Roundabout on the A58 at St Helens, Lancashire.
Other items in the collection being acquired include four small study drawings by Fleischmann for the Miner composition. In addition, there are seven small brightly coloured sketches of alternative designs proposed for a relief sculpture in marble mosaic for the National Coal Board. Sadly the relief sculpture was never commissioned.
As well as the artistic demands of the commission, the installation of the Miner sculpture at Anderton House also proved to be a major engineering challenge. The composition required the trepanning machine to be mounted at right-angles to its usual operating orientation down the mine. With the axis of rotation now vertical, the bearings and lubrication system needed a complete redesign. The collection being acquired includes several large format engineering drawings of the "special" trepanning machine.
July 2022: Arthur Fleischmann Tour 2022 at Snape and Lowick
We are delighted to report that the Arthur Fleischmann Tour 2022 was a great success this year. Children at Lowick and Holy Island C of E First Schools and at Snape Community Primary School took part in June. We send our congratulations to all the children who took part. They created a collection of imaginative and inspiring abstract works of art from found discarded plastic on the theme of Spirals and Helices. Here are three of the proud prize-winners from Snape. Well done!
May 19th 2022: Dr Zuzana Palicova visits the Fleischmann studio in London
Director of the Mestske Muzeum in Bratislava Dr Zuzana Palicova visited the Fleischmann studio in London to meet Joy and Dominique Fleischmann for the first time in person. It was a very intimate and warm occasion, and we talked about many topics, including future plans for the Arthur Fleischmann Museum in Bratislava.
May 24th 2022: Arthur Fleischmann sculptures to be auctioned
Two bronze sculptures, "Sisters" and "The First Step", by Arthur Fleischmann will go on sale at Shapiro's Auction House in Sydney on 24th May 2022. The auction is named "SH213 Australian and International Art". The sculptures were originally exhibited at the one man show at David Jones, Sydney in 1987, and have remained in Sydney since then. The auction catalogue entries are here and here.
May 2022: AF Tour preparations
Preparations are underway for the Arthur Fleischmann Tour in May and June this year. The Tour project involves each pupil creating a sculpture from recycled plastics that is inspired by the work of Arthur Fleischmann. This year the theme is "Spirals and Helices from Science and Nature"! Pupils at Key Stage 1 and 2 will take part.
Here is the logo for this year!
May 2022: Fleischmann paper to be presented at PSSA Webinar
On May 21st the PSSA will host the webinar "Public Sculpture in Britain 1945-1980". A paper entitled "Arthur Fleischmann (1896 - 1990): A career described through the prism of World Festivals and illustrated with images" will be presented.
The photo here was taken in December 1969. It shows Arthur Fleischmann checking his water sculpture 'Harmony and Progress' after installation at the entrance to the British Pavilion, just prior to the opening of Expo '70 Osaka, Japan. The sculptor's 9 year-old son Dominique can be seen on the left.
April 2022: Collector from America visits the studio in London
A collector from America visited the studio to look at photographs taken by Arthur Fleischmann in Bali in 1937 and 1938. The photographs were taken using a Dolina camera on 35 mm negative film. The films were developed and printed by Fleischmann himself while he was living in Bali.
April 2022: Perspex decorative panel back on display
This decorative panel entitled "Fish Panel" and measuring 1.25 metres by 1 metre was carved from a sheet of clear Perspex by Arthur Fleischmann in 1965. It depicts a stylized marine scene. The panel has recently been taken out of storage, cleaned, and placed on display. The work of art glows against a dark background from edge lighting incorporated into the frame.
March 2022: Crest of the Seafarers' Education Service
In 1958 Arthur Fleischmann was commissioned by Dr Ronald S. Hope, Director of the Seafarers' Education Service (SES) to create an engraved Perspex panel depiciting the crest of the organisation. The clear Perspex panel, mounted in a frame containing edge lighting, was unveiled by Lady Currie at the headquarters of the organisation in the summer of 1959 and was placed on display there.
Ronald Hope and his wife Marion became great friends of Fleischmann, and Joy and Arthur hosted the Hopes in their apartment in Brussels while Fleischmann was erecting his sculptures at the Brussels World Expo.
Since 1958, the SES has gone through many organisational changes. In 1976 it merged with The Marine Society, and in 2004 further restructuring took place and the Marine Society and Sea Cadets (MSSC) took over as the parent charity. Very recently the MSSC moved offices, and because of limited space in the new headquarters the MSSC decided to give the Crest to Ronald Anthony Hope, son of Dr Ronald S. Hope, in view of the family connection. We are very happy to announce that the Crest has now been delivered to Tony Hope, and he is generously acting as custodian of the sculpture. We are now looking to donate the sculpture to an institution that would safeguard it's long term conservation and display it to the public.
March 2022: Salome watersculpture by Fleischmann restored
Work to restore the Perspex watersculpture "Salome" by Fleischmann was completed this month. The 1.2 metre high sculpture, created in circa 1980, is constructed from horizontal layers of alternating clear and red-tinted transparent Perspex. Several years ago the sculpture was broken into four fragments with clean breaks across laminations between layers, and it has been awaiting conservation. The restoration involved a thorough cleaning, followed by reassembly of the four fragments and bonding together using acrylic cement Tensol No 7. Over the next few days, the sculpture will be tested with water as a fountain to make sure everything is working correctly.
March 2022: Snape Primary School to take part in AF Tour 2022
We are delighted to announce that pupils from Snape Primary School will take part in the Arthur Fleischmann Tour in May and June this year. The Tour project involves each pupil creating a sculpture from recycled plastics that is inspired by the work of Arthur Fleischmann. This year the theme is "Spirals and Helices from Science and Nature"! Pupils at Key Stage 1 and 2 will take part. More details will follow.
The sculpture illustrated here is "Homage to the Discovery of DNA" in Perspex by Arthur Fleischmann, dated 1989.
March 2022: Entry added to Find A Grave web site for Fleischmann
We are very grateful to the Board of Management at the The Duldig Studio Museum and Sculpture Garden in Melbourne, Australia, for collecting information about Arthur Fleischmann, and adding an entry for him on the Find A Grave web site. This photo shows Fleischmann with the "Peace Fountain" in the courtyard of St Francis Church in Pottery Lane, near Holland Park in London. Fleischmann's ashes were scattered at the fountain.
Karl and Slawa Duldig studied with Anton Hanak and left Vienna in 1939, and it is highly likely that Fleischmann knew the Duldigs during that pre-war period. We intend to remain in contact with the Duldig studio in the future with the aim of gathering more historical information about Fleischmann's early career in Vienna and Bratislava.
March 2022: Archivist Peter Simpson works on the Fleischmann archive
Archivist Peter Simpson makes final preparations of the Arthur Fleischmann Archive. He holds a photograph of the 1.5 metre high sculpture "Mermaid", 1954 by Fleischmann in cast aluminium and carved Perspex. The archive has been acquired by the Tate Gallery in London to be a resource for the nation in perpetuity.
March 2022: Perspex pendant rediscovered after 55 years
In 1966 Arthur Fleischmann's five-year-old son Dominique had a bout of tonsilitis. Fleischmann arranged for the ear, nose and throat surgeon Mr Gerard Stein to operate on the young Dominique and remove the offending tonsils. Wanting to express his gratitude, in addition to the medical fees, Fleischmann created a gift for the surgeon's daughter, Margaret. He made a pendant in carved Perspex on a silver mount depicting her Zodiac sign, Capricorn. The families lost contact, as Dominique's health improved and the surgeon retired in the early 1980s. However, a chance remark by Margaret in a conversation with a friend 55 years later, reconnected Dominique and Margaret! We are now very happy to add the Perspex 'Capricorn' pendant to the Arthur Fleischmann Digital Archive along with photographs.
Art Made Of Plexiglas? See for yourself
A new "Art Made Of Plexiglas? See for yourself" publicity poster designed by the Marketing Department at the Mestske Muzeum in Bratislava is unveiled for the Arthur Fleischmann Museum at 6 Biela Ulice, Bratislava. The museum looks forward to welcoming more visitors as the cultural life re-awakens after the pandemic.
Kristin Breuss from Holy Trinity Church, Finchley Road, London, visits the Arthur Fleischmann studio in London.
On Friday 11th March 2022 Kristin Breuss from Holy Trinity Church, Finchley Road, London (here), visits the London studio of Arthur Fleischmann to view the sculpture collection. She is accompanied by Stephanie Marshall. Good weather allowed us to enjoy the Water Sculptures in the garden. We hope to collaborate with Kristin in the future.
Jane Winfrey visits the Arthur Fleischmann studio in London.
On Wednesday 9th March 2022 Jane Winfrey, renowned art expert, visits the London studio of Arthur Fleischmann to view the sculpture collection. Good weather allowed us to enjoy the Water Sculptures in the garden. We hope to collaborate with Jane in the future.
Spring-cleaning in the garden of the Arthur Fleischmann studio in London.
On Tuesday 8th March 2022 Giorgio the electrician works to replace a faulty water pump for the abstract Perspex Water Sculpture "Four Seasons". It will be ready to show to visitors to the studio.
Arthur Fleischmann Foundation Instagram Account
On Saturday 26th February 2022 the Arthur Fleischmann Foundation opened a new Instagram account called AFSculpture. This represents the first attempts of the AFF to engage with Social Media. We hope to use the Instagram platform to interact with the public and make regular announcements of AFF news and developments. The Instagram page is here.
Arthur Fleischmann Museum Reopens After Pandemic
On Thursday 3rd March 2022 the Arthur Fleischmann Museum re-opens after the pandemic. The museum is located at 6 Biela Ulice, Bratislava. It will remain open on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. See the web site for further details.
Arthur Fleischmann Museum 10th Anniversary Celebrations
On Friday 16th November 2012 a workshop for children from the Mother Alexia School was held on the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Arthur Fleischmann Museum in Bratislava.
Fleischmann and the Fishermen Exhibition Bristol
The exhibition "Fleischmann and the Fishermen" will open at the new Grant Bradley Gallery in Bristol on 9th November 2005 and will run for one year. Dr Peter Hyross, Director of the Mestske Muzeum, Bratislava, will be the guest of honour at the opening on 1st November 2005. The exhibition focuses on Fleischmann's religious art and features busts of popes Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II, all sculpted from life. For the first time works from Fleischmann's early career will be on show in this country. Six ceramic sculptures have been generously loaned by the Mestske Muzeum, Bratislava for this event. Here is the Press Release. Opening times 10am - 4pm, Tuesday - Saturday. The full list of exhibits can be found on the FineArtFacts web site here. Instructions for getting to the Grant Bradley Gallery
Fleischmann Festival 2004 - An Amazing Event
The Arthur Fleischmann Festival took place in Vienna and Bratislava over the weekend of 5th June 2004. After the unveiling of the commemorative plaque by Dr Reinhold Hohengartner in honour of Arthur Fleischmann in Vienna, His Excellency John Macgregor hosted a reception at the British Residence. Dr Philip Ward-Jacklson gave a detailed lecture examining the phenomenon of decorative arts in Viennese and London Council architecture in the period 1930-1960.
On 6th June the gala evening took place - hosted by the Mayor of Bratislava in the Mirror Hall at the Primacial Palace. Hiroko Sue performed with Jordana Palovicova, Ivan Palovic and Daniella Blesacova. We will post a more comprehensive report soon. In the meantime, here is the text from the lecture given by Dr Philip Ward-Jackson and here is an album of photos taken at the concert.
Bali Book Contract Signed
On 29th March 2004 Dominique Fleischmann signed the contract with Frans and Truus Jansen of Pichures Publishers for the publishing of a book based on Arthur Fleischmann's original manuscript entitled "Bali Through A Sculptor's Eyes".
We are also delighted to announce that the main text of the book will be written by Paul de Bont who is a scolar of Balinese culture and history. It is particularly appropriate that the foreword will be written by Professor Marie Bashir, the present Governor of New Souyth Wales, as Arthur wrote the first chapters of his manuscript during his stay in Sydney NSW in the 1940's. We hope to Launch the book in December 2005 ... so please watch this space ...
Vienna Bratislava Festival - June 2004
The Arthur Fleischmann Festival is going ahead! The events start on 5th June 2004 with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque in honour of Arthur Fleischmann in Vienna. On 6th June there will be a gala evening in Bratislava hosted by the Mayor of Bratislava in the Mirror Hall at the Primacial Palace. More...
Vienna Commemorative Plaque Plans Progressing
In July 2003 the Austrian Cultural Forum Bratislava announced that permission has been obtained to erect a commemorative plaque in Vienna to honour Arthur Fleischmann.
The plaque will be placed on the building in Favoritenstrasse where Fleischmann lived and worked between 1933 and 1938.
Japanese Concert at Fleischmann Studio
On 24th June 2003 the Japanese master musician Hiroko Sue performed a concert on the Koto to an audience of invited guests
at the Studio of Arthur Fleischmann in London. The Koto is a traditional Japanese folk instrument like a harp with 13 strings
laid horizontal on the ground.
Hiroko was accompanied by Michael Coxall on the Shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute).
In the finale, Sue performed a new piece composed by her that was inspired
by the Fleischmann Water Sculpture "Orbits". A short video of the concert can be downloaded
It is a strange coincidence that Fleischmann was inspired himself to create the sculpture "Orbits" after
visiting Japan in 1970.
The Artrhur Fleischmann Foundation will be working to raise funds so that Hiroko can perform the concert again at the Arthur Fleischmann
Museum in Bratislava - either later this year or in the spring of 2004.
Theft of Fleischmann Sculpture from Leamington Spa
Have you any information regarding the theft before Christmas of "Miranda" from Leamington Spa in England? The sculpture was created by Arthur Fleischmann in 1951 for the Festival of Britain.
It is a bronze sculpture, about 8 feet long. The sculpture comprises a mermaid, Miranda, who is reclining on a turtle and supporting three fish, all of them spout water.
Anyone with information is asked to contact CCO Humphriss, Warwickshire Police, Southern Area Crime Desk on 44 (0) 1926 415642 quoting crime reference number SI-17676-2001.
Opening of the Arthur Fleischmann Museum, Bratislava
On 26th November 2002 the Arthur Fleischmann Museum was opened under the patronage of President Schuster at
6 Biela Ulice
in the historical centre of Bratislava.
The inauguration was accompanied by the unveiling of a plaque on the facade of the property, by a spectacular exhibition
of Water Sculptures by Arthur Fleischmann
that was hosted by the City Gallery of Bratislava at the nearby Mirbach Palace and the
launching of a biography of Arthur Fleischmann written by Dr Marion Pauer.
The project was in preparation for four years and is
the result of collaboration between the Mestske Museum, Bratislava and the Arthur Fleischmann Foundation.
The Arthur Fleischmann Foundation would like to extend their gratitude to the Embassy of the Slovak Republic, London,
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Henkel Slovakia and Tesco for their
assistance in realising this project. We hope they will continue to support the on-going activities at the museum.
We are grateful to Sally Titterington for producing the following four video clips of the opening celebrations.