THE BRAUN ARCHIVE

The Archive of Dudy Braun contains more than 500,000 photographs that intimately portray day-to-day life in the Hassidic Jewish community in London’s Stamford Hill.

Dudy grew up and still lives in the heart of the neighbourhood. He is the eldest son of art collector Marton Braun and acclaimed artist Gitl Wallerstein-Braun. This artistic family legacy has deeply influenced him.

But it is also a dissatisfaction and unhappiness with how Hassidic communities have been portrayed in the past – through photography and television – that prompted Dudy to try to convey an authentic side to this little-known way of life.

One afternoon in 2006, he grabbed one of his mother’s cameras, ran out of the door and brought back some portraits and reportage-style shots of his neighbours that were welcomed by his subjects, and set him off on a decade of subsequent work. Even the most camera shy allow Dudy unique access into the closed Hassidic world, loving the way that he sensitively portrays their families during mundane and marvellous events alike.

Braun says: “I’m energised by a sense of duty and absolute commitment to tell the Hassidic way of life’s untold story. In this neighbourhood, among the hectic, developed metropolis of London, are the most stunning models. I’m fascinated by these families and their stories. The more photos I take, it only increases my fervour to tell more – to turn my gaze to local scholars, saints, fools, nobles and wannabes.”

STEERING COMMITTEE

Aware that The Braun Archive was too significant to remain a purely personal possession, avenues have been explored to identify partners to support the archiving of the collection of images for posterity. The Wiener Library has been supporting that work, and an initial expression of interest has been received by the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) to take in an initial deposit of images.

The work is being guided by a Steering Committee which is overseeing discussion on securing The Braun Archive, and when required will take decisions in consultation with others to agree how that will be realised, and funded.

The Steering Committee consists of
Ben Barkow (Wiener Library)
Christine Schmidt (Wiener Library)
Robert Upston (The Fine Art Society)
Marton Braun (Yiddisher Kunst)
David Russell (The Social Enterprise)

YIDDISHER KUNST  TRUSTEES

MR Aaron Meyer Henig
MR Norman Ralph Han
MR Abraham Issacharoff

YIDDISHER KUNST

A charity registered in England & Wales, number 1123862

The Braun Archive is an initiative of Yiddisher Kunst, a charity registered in England and Wales (1123862) to collect, conserve, research, display and explain artefacts of beauty, antiquity and historical importance or interest which illustrate Judaism and Jewish history with special reference to the UK and Eastern Europe.

The Braun Archive contains more than 500,000 photographs that intimately portray day-to-day life in the Hassidic Jewish community in London’s Stamford Hill.

CONTACT US

c/o The Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square; London WC1B 5DP
Telephone: +44 (0)7903 949 533

Email: braunarchive@gmail.com