The Dr Erna Grossbard Collection - New Acquisitions

Published: 11 October 2022

The term “New Acquisitions” refers to the latest objects that have come into the museum collection. Leicester Museums & Galleries has been constantly adding to its collection since 1849. We do this to ensure that the collection remains representative of the stories of Leicester’s diverse communities, as well as reflecting the city’s unique places, arts, and heritage.

The museum usually receives new acquisitions in one of three ways: by donation, bequest, or purchase. Donations are gifts from the general public, local businesses, or organisations, and are the most common way we gain objects. Bequests are items left to the museum by a person in their will. Occasionally, the museum will purchase an item, for example an artwork or an important historical treasure, to bring it into public ownership and preserve it for future generations.

These three recently-donated artworks were previously owned by Dr Erna Grossbard. Dr Grossbard was born in Vienna in 1912 and came to England as a Jewish refugee in the late 1930s, joining her sister who had already fled to London. She was an eminent scientist, a world-leading microbiologist who worked alongside Alexander Fleming at one point, and later was one of the key researchers who developed the glyphosate weedkiller. She was quite a character, witty and entertaining, much loved and greatly missed by her friends in Oxford.
Berthe Grossbard, Erna’s sister, was a leading broadcaster in Germany prior to the rise of Nazism, and her husband, Dr Carl Brinitzer became a famous broadcaster too, working for the BBC’s German Service for many years. The woodcut print by Gotsch is dedicated to him in an inscription by the artist.

New Acquisitions Gallery


The three artworks can be seen this autumn at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery.