Franciszka Themerson


Franciszka Themerson was born in Warsaw 1907, moved to Paris in 1938, and then, from 1940, lived in London until her death in 1988. She was principally a painter, and she drew, but throughout her life, she also worked in several other fields of the visual arts.
From 1930, the year of their marriage, she collaborated with her husband, Stefan Themerson, on experimental films, illustrated books for children which he wrote, and in 1948 they founded together the inimitable avant-garde publishing house Gaberbocchus Press. She was the art director, and principal illustrator. The press ran until 1979, publishing 60 titles, many of them first English editions.
They collaborated intermittently always, but also pursued independent careers, as artist and writer. There were major exhibitions of Franciszka’s paintings and drawings in Britain, Europe and America. She won recognition for her theatre design in the 1960s and 70s, productions of Jarry’s Ubu Roi, Ubu Enchainé and Brecht’s Threepenny Opera.