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Hannah Gluck


GLUCK, HANNAH (1895–1978), British painter. Hannah Gluck, widely known as "Gluck," was born in London and belonged to the well-known *Gluckstein family. She attended St. Pauls Girls' School but, refusing to go to the university, she enrolled in the St. John's Wood Art School, London, which she left after one year and was thereafter self-taught. In 1916, while on a holiday in Cornwall, she met a group of distinguished artists, including Munnings and Harold and Lora Knight, and this made her more determined to become a genuine artist. She eventually studied music, but after a promising beginning returned to painting. In 1926, the Fine Art Society of London held an exhibition of her work entitled "Stage and Country," which included landscapes as well as theater scenes and portraits. Its success led to other successful exhibitions in 1932 and 1937. Nothing was heard of Gluck for some 35 years, during which time she was living in the country, painting very slowly, and, having no financial means, not bothering to exhibit. In 1973, however, the Fine Art Society persuaded her to hold another show, which included the portrait of her grandfather done in 1915, a series of works from 1917 to 1937, as well as paintings covering the period from World War II. It proved a thrilling exhibition and Gluck was hailed as a minor master.

During the subsequent five years, until her death, Gluck was reestablished both as a painter in her own right and as part of the reassessment of English art in the 1920s and 1930s.

In July 2017, heritage organisation Historic England recognized Hannah Gluck as one of the 15 British LGBTQ icons of the 20th century.  Her home, Chantry House, Steyning, subsequently will be protected as a national landmark.  


ODNB online; D. Souhami, Gluck, 1895–1978: Her Biography (1988);
Jewish painter to be honoured as 20th century LGBT icon, Times of Israel, (July 25, 2017).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.