Bohm-Duchen, Monica 1957–

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Bohm-Duchen, Monica 1957–


Born May 10, 1957, in London, England; daughter of Louis (an industrial chemist) and Dorothy (a photographer) Bohm; married Michael Duchen (a research scientist), June 25, 1978 (divorced, 2003); children: Hannah, Benjamin. Ethnicity: "White/Jewish." Education: University of London, B.A., 1979; Courtauld Institute of Art, London, M.A., 1980. Politics: "Left of centre." Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Theater, cinema, travel.


Home—London, England. E-mail—[email protected]


Freelance writer, lecturer, and exhibition curator, 1980—. Exhibitions: Organizer and curator of exhibitions, including work for Tate Gallery, National Gallery, Open University, and Courtauld Institute of Art, London; exhibitions include "Art in Exile in Great Britain, 1933-1945," in London and Berlin, 1985-86, "After Auschwitz: Responses to the Holocaust in Contemporary Art," a touring exhibition, 1995, "Rubies and Rebels: Jewish Female Identity in Contemporary British Art," 1996-97, and "Life? or Theatre? The Work of Charlotte Salomon," Royal Academy of Arts, 1998.


International Association of Art Critics, Society of Authors.


Arnold Daghani, Diptych (London, England), 1987.

Thomas Lowinsky, Tate Gallery (London, England), 1990.

(With Janet Cook) Understanding Modern Art, Usborne Publishing (London, England), 1991.

The Nude, Scala Publications (New York, NY), 1992.

(Editor and contributor) After Auschwitz: Responses to the Holocaust in Contemporary Art, Lund Humphries (London, England), 1995.

(Editor, with Vera Grodzinski) Rubies and Rebels: Jewish Female Identity in Contemporary British Art, Lund Humphries (London, England), 1996.

Chagall, Phaidon (London, England), 1998.

The Private Life of a Masterpiece, BBC Publications (London, England), 2001.

Eva Frankfurther, 1930-1959, Peter Halban (London, England), 2001.

(Editor, with Michael P. Steinberg) Reading Charlotte Salomon, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Jewish Quarterly, Jewish Renaissance, Art Monthly, and Modern Painters.


Art historian Monica Bohm-Duchen, working in collaboration with Janet Cook, published Understanding Modern Art. Calling it a "stimulating read" for young people, Veronica Holliday, a reviewer in Books for Keeps, considered the work an "attractively produced book." Holliday also commended Bohm-Duchen and Cook's effort to encourage young people to "look carefully, think about what they see and find out about the artist" within the "context" of their work. John Holden, reviewer in School Librarian, called Understanding Modern Art "well documented and articulate" as well as a "useful … enjoyable read for fourteen and upwards." He considered the "selection of examples … broad and visually exciting."

In 1995 Bohm-Duchen was the curator of a traveling exhibition of art commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps. She gathered an extensive collection of the art included in that exhibition in her book, After Auschwitz: Responses to the Holocaust in Contemporary Art. Donna Seaman, a reviewer in Booklist, called After Auschwitz a "stark and harrowing" work that "depict[s] life at its bleakest." Douglas F. Smith, a reviewer in Library Journal, "highly recommended" the work, calling it "a fascinating if disturbing book that breaks new ground in art historical study."

Bohm-Duchen turned her attention to an individual artist with her book Chagall. This book focused on the "social, religious, and cultural context of Chagall's development as an artist," commented Nadine Dalton Speidel, a reviewer in Library Journal. The reviewer also classified Chagall as "recommended for public and academic libraries."



Booklist, June 1, 1995, Donna Seaman, review of After Auschwitz: Responses to the Holocaust in Contemporary Art, p. 1714.

Books for Keeps, May, 1992, Veronica Holliday, review of Understanding Modern Art, p. 23.

Library Journal, June 1, 1995, Douglas F. Smith, review of After Auschwitz, p. 112; October 1, 1998, Nadine Dalton Speidel, review of Chagall, p. 80.

School Librarian, August, 1992, John Holden, review of Understanding Modern Art, p. 116.