Barbara Loftus' figurative paintings and works in other media are known for their exploration of the interface between personal memory and historical events. In her cycle of artworks, "Sigismund's Watch", which takes its subtitle from the writings of the cultural critic Siegfried Kracauer, she reflects on the convergence of public and private life in a study of trans-generational memory. By means of her paintings, bookworks and archival material she focuses on a day long ago in the life of her mother Hildegard during the economically volatile Weimar period in Germany. The work is accompanied by three studies of Loftus' work which identify recurrent themes, imagery and influences.
Barbara Loftus is the daughter of a German-Jewish refugee and an Anglo-Irish Communist. She grew up in London and studied art in the 1960s. Since 1970 she has exhibited widely and has taught at a number of art colleges in London and the South of England. She lives in Brighton and is married to the antiquarian bookseller, David Plumtree. Monica Bohm-Duchen is an independent art historian and curator. Esther Leslie Professor in Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck College, University of London.