Ten years to research, sculptor Oscar Nemon’s daughter Aurelia Young will launch Finding Nemon at the Nemon Museum on Boars Hill – where he sculpted for forty years. The biography, which tells the story of Nemon’s private and public lives, took Aurelia all over the world. Trailing her father, she travelled from North America, where Nemon sculpted Eisenhower, to Osijek in Croatia where he was born, and his family lost their lives during the Shoah, and Vienna then Brussels, where Nemon lived and worked from 1924-36, before moving to England as anti-semitism escalated across Europe.
Reading hundreds of letters, and interviewing people who had shared their lives with the sculptor at different times, and on different continents, Aurelia was able to piece together the life story of a father she had only ever partially understood, all the while tracking down missing works, and identifying others whose subjects were unknown, with forensic skills she never guessed she had during her years as a wife, and mother to four children. [More about Oscar Nemon at Wikipedia].
To celebrate the book’s publication, the Nemon family will be offering tea and cake to everyone who comes to see the free display about Nemon’s work during the 1930s, and the recreation of his working Studio, in the Nemon Studio Museum. The Archive will also be open, where Aurelia will be signing and talking about her book. The shelves display Nemon’s works from the 1920s to the 1980s, including portraits of Churchill, Freud and Margaret Thatcher – all of whom Nemon sculpted from life.
Pleasant Land, Nemon’s Studio and home, where Aurelia and her siblings Falcon and Electra grew up, is set down a private road off the Ridgeway on Boars Hill, in a secluded wild garden surrounded by open fields and woods. Parking is available on site, with disabled access to the Nemon Studio Museum. Please see the Visits page, or contact us if further information is needed.
Finding Nemon can be pre-ordered from Peter Owen.
Oxfordshire pianist Emma Holloway will be playing a selection of music in the garden during the afternoon.
Text and colour photos by Alice Hiller