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Alice Hiller


Poet, scholar and curator Alice Hiller began her writing career as a freelance features journalist, writing for the Observer and other publications, which led her to publish a history of the T-shirt with Ebury Press. Having studied English, she was awarded a PhD from University College London. Her thesis explores the impacts of migration on culture in the aftermath of the American Revolution, and the early decades of the new Republic.

This interest stood her in good stead when she assumed responsibility for the Estate of the émigré sculptor Oscar Nemon in 2002, whom she knew from 1981 until his death in 1985. Nemon’s portraits of Churchill and Freud and other famous sitters are sited in iconic locations round the world – from the Members’ Lobby of the House of Commons to the Capitol in Washington. Yet the multiple migrations which Nemon made - from Yugoslavia, where he was born in 1906, to Vienna in 1924, then Brussels, and finally Oxford in 1939 as a Jewish refugee – mean that the sculptor remains considerably less well known than his works.

Alice Hiller began her custodianship of the Nemon Estate by arranging donations to museums including the Ashmolean, the Government Art Collection, the Henry Moore Institute, the Freud Museum, the Imperial War Museum, and the Museum of Fine Art in Zagreb. The past fifteen years have been spent researching Nemon’s works, locating lost compositions, and building a wider awareness of Nemon’s sculpture. In 2017 the Nemon Estate was able to open a Studio Museum and Archive of Nemon’s works at Pleasant Land on Boars Hill, where Nemon lived and worked from 1941 until his death in 1985. Alice Hiller is writing a scholarly biography of Oscar Nemon with Croatian academic Daniel Zec, while working towards her first poetry collection, album without photos.

Last updated: Jul 2019