On Not Looking Jewish: Visualising Submerged Memories and Appearances

Annebella Pollen, Barbara Loftus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Article for a Special Issue of the journal Textile on the subject, 'Picturing Jewish Dress: Researching Belonging and Identification Through Historical Visual Sources'.
Annebella Pollen in conversation with Barbara Loftus.
For more than 25 years, artist Barbara Loftus, born 1946, has developed a substantial body of work, across figurative painting, book works and creative documentary film, rooted in her experience as a second-generation Holocaust survivor. Loftus’s mother, Hildegard Basch [1917–2007], was born into an assimilated middle-class Jewish family but the securities of her comfortable life in Berlin were devastated by the catastrophic events of Nazi Germany. While Hildegard was able to take refuge in England in 1939, the rest of her family - Loftus’s grandparents Sigismund and Herta, and her uncle Heinz - were transported to Auschwitz Birkenau in 1942 and perished in the camp. In August 2021, cultural historian Annebella Pollen visited Loftus’s studio in Brighton, UK, to discuss the enduring themes of her artistic practice and, particularly, Loftus’s use of photographs and dress as sources and methods for exploring Jewish identity and post-memory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)797-809
Number of pages13
JournalTextile: Journal of Cloth and Culture
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2022


  • Jewish identity
  • fashion
  • memory
  • photography
  • postmemory


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