<< HEARTFIELD CHRONOLOGY - ALL YEARS1940 1941 1942 1945 1946 1947

“The shots that I took for [John] Heartfield based on exact pencil sketches
and always according to his personal instructions often took hours, many hours.
He insisted on nuances that I was no longer capable of seeing”
Photographer János Reisman, who worked extensively for Heartfield
Photographer János Reisman, who worked extensively for Heartfield

John Heartfield England 1942. The German League Of Free Culture.

The German League of Free Culture was the main venue for displays of John Heartfield England work in 1942. Events are organized so the public may understand the power of anti-fascist political art. Heartfield displays works in The German League Of Free Culture London exhibition Allies Inside (Nazi) Germany.

He is living on the most meager of incomes. His financial situation is so desperate he attempts to learn how to become a welding supervisor. He is able to find work as a graphic designer for English publishers, including Lindsay Drummond Ltd., Dennis Dobson Ltd., and Penguin Books Ltd.

In 1943, perhaps the world’s most famous anti-Nazi anti-war collage artist is given permission to work as a free-lance cartoonist. However, he continues to pursue opportunities as a political artist, a graphic design, and stage design for English theatre companies. He continues this kind of work in London until he is refused asylum and forced to leave England in 1950.

It was a historic injustice that Heartfield was forced to leave England in 1950. If he had been able to remain, his work would now hang in the major museums of the world rather than stored in an archive in Germany.

Despite the challenges of his financial situation, John Heartfield learns to love England, especially London. When he appeals to the Czech Refuge Fund to allow him to remain in England, he writes he needs to remain in London for “his health and his work.”

Heartfield England 1942 Free German League of Culture

Painters' Section of the Free German League of Culture, January 13, 1942.
Image Credit: Heinz Worner Archiv, Berlin.


Professor John J Heartfield is John Heartfield’s paternal grandson. He gives live interactive presentations around the world that focus on his grandfather’s life and work and modern political art. Please write to him to request his presence at your event or ask any question. He is always pleased to hear from exhibition visitors.

Dada Political Artist John Heartfield grandson, John Heartfield, Curator Official John Heartfield Exhibition