A beautiful little site which includes lots of information from someone who worked in the field, and collects small vintage posters from ebay, etc.Tweet
Studied at Eastbourne College of Art under Eric Ravilious, Wootton (sometimes mis-spelt Wooton) was a painter of a range of subjects, including landscapes and equestrian subjects, as well as the aviation images that he is best known for. Personally commissioned to do work for the MOI by Edwin Embleton, the Canadian Museum of Flight described Frank Wootton as ‘The Dean of Aviation Art’: ‘A class, traditional painter, his aircraft “fly”; his clouds “move”, and his “mood” is always evident.’. Air Chief Marshal Sir Neil Wheeler commented that Wootton’s painting utilised realistic backgrounds, and ‘leave one with the impression that the aircraft could actually fly’. With a highly realistic style, Wootton took ‘great trouble’ to search for ‘technical and historical accuracy’. He was assigned as an official artist to the Royal Canadian Air Force, and also painted designs for the RAF. He experienced first hand the aircraft, pilots, ground crews, skyscapes and landscapes of the Second World War. A pioneer in ‘aviation art’, his work can be found in museums in Canada, Australia, the UK and the United States. In 1983 he exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, and has an impressive list of awards. In 2002 he was described as a long-standing supporter of RAF Benevolent Fund who had recently completed a painting for the entrance to Lord Dowding House, their sheltered housing project. He was the first aviation artist to have a book published on the subject, and in 2002 he appeared to have no obvious plans to retire. Married to Virginia, living in England, he was still a charter member and past president of the prestigious Guild of Aviation Artists.
See Wootton, F. Frank Wootton: 50 Years of Aviation Art, 1997
Information collated from: Wootton, F., Frank Wootton: 50 Years of Aviation Art, 1997; Questionnaire submitted by Royall, K. to Embleton, E., Royall, K., ‘Posters of the Second World War: The Fourth Arm of British Defence’, Unpublished M.A., University of Westminster, 1991, p.123; Canadian Museum of Flight, ‘Art Gallery – Frank Wooton Page’, http://www.canadianflight.org/gallery/fwo_home.htm, last updated 2002, accessed October 4 2003Tweet
Worked with Leonard Cusden, producing sixty to seventy posters a year for ROSPA, for distribution to factories. His designs tended to originate as ‘mind pictures or actual happenings’ rather than an illustrated thought, and he was responsible for hiring other artists. It is not entirely clear if he was actually an artist or not, but he was Head of the Industrial Department of ROSPA. He allowed artists to do their own work, limiting poster criticism to technical defects, and ensuring that the message was in tune with policy.
Information collated from: Anonymous, ‘Surely these Posters Must Prevent Accidents?’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 127, No. 1,660, March 15 1945, p.378; Anonymous, ‘How Specialised Angle Helps Safety Posters’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 122, No. 1,594, December 9 1943, p.256Tweet
Harold Sandys Williamson was born in Leeds on 29 August 1892. He studied at the Leeds School of Art between 1911 and 1914. In 1915 he attended the RA Schools in London, 1914-15 and was awarded the Turner Gold Medal. Initially turned down from the army in the First World War on health grounds, he joined as a rifleman in January 1916. He served in France, wounded by a grenade fragment on September 15 1916. He received treatment in the UK and then returned to France in May 1917.
Injured at other points in the war, he moved between the battlefront and the UK, working on paintings whilst recuperating. Whilst recuperating he was recruited to the War Artists Scheme for the MOI, but the Armistice meant that the contract was not taken up. Williamson became a respected artist after the war, designing posters for LT, and showing work at the RA, the New English Art Club, the London Group and many other galleries. Between 1930 and 1958 he was Headmaster at the Chelsea School of Art, employing Henry Moore as head of a new sculpture department in 1932. Well known as a British poster artist, Williamson was a ‘great admirer of William Roberts whom he had employed at Chelsea as a supervisor of drawing’, and of Ceri Richards. He was devoted to classical music and Radio Three. The IWM owns several of his works from when he was official war artist on the Western Front in the First World War, ‘with a particular emphasis on the depiction of the role played by animals’.
Information collated from: Imperial War Museum, ‘The First World War letters and paintings of
Harold Sandys Williamson’, http://www.iwm.org.uk/online/fww_rem/fww-art.htm, accessed September 21 2003; Imperial War Museum, ‘The First World War letters and paintings of Harold Sandys Williamson’ (Page 2), http://www.iwm.org.uk/online/fww_rem/fww-art2.htm, accessed September 21 2003; Imperial War Museum, ‘The First World War letters and paintings of Harold Sandys Williamson’ (Page 8), http://www.iwm.org.uk/online/fww_rem/fww-art8.htm, accessed September 21 2003; Consignia, ‘Heritage Collection’, http://www.consignia.com/heritage/html/transport/left/airmail.htm; http://www.consignia.com/heritage/html/transport/left/packet_boats.htm, accessed October 3 2003.; Fineart.ac.uk, ‘Henry Moore’, http://fineart.ac.uk/artists/102/, accessed October 3 2003; Brighton School of Art and Design, ‘Archive Vicky’, http://www.adh.brighton.ac.uk/schoolofdesign/MA.COURSE/01/LIAWilliamson.html, accessed October 3 2003.
Norman Wilkinson was born in Cambridge, educated at Berkhamsted and St Paul’s, and studied art at Portsmouth and Southsea Schools of Art. Wilkinson did early work for the Illustrated London News and worked for them until he entered the Royal Navy [in] World War I. Wilkinson designed the successful multi-coloured ‘dazzle camouflage’ in 1917, used by the Royal Navy and adopted by the US Navy in 1918. After the war he emerged as ‘one of the best known poster designers in the country’, working for shipping and railway companies. He was a keen yachtsman but also very interested in aviation and during World War II he served in the RAF.
He is best remembered as a maritime artist, and also designed posters for other railway companies including the RA series of posters for the LMS in 1924. He also worked for the Illustrated London News and Illustrated Mail. In the late 1930s The London Midland and Scottish Railway Company commissioned from Norman Wilkinson, PRI, a series of posters featuring famous public schools of England and Wales. Wilkinson was elected President of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, and in that capacity wrote a noted letter to The Times. He was also a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. Wilkinson was personally commissioned to do work for the MOI by Embleton, Edwin. He was still designing posters in the 1950s.
Information taken from: Old Stoic Society, http://www.stoweschool.org/ossociety/news/, accessed September 22 2003, ‘Luxury Liners of the Past’, ‘Postcard Artists’, http://www.geocites.com/luxury_liners/Artists.html, accessed October 03 2003, Raven, A., ‘The Development of Naval Camouflage’, http://www.shipcamouflage.com/1_4.htm, accessed September 22 2003, ‘More War Posters Wanted’, Advertiser’s Weekly, September 28 1939, p.324, Letter from Wilkinson, N. to The Times, ‘A Task for Artists’, The Times, September 25 1939, Rennies Vintage Posters, ‘Norman Wilkinson’, http://www.rennart.co.uk/wilkinson.html, accessed September 22 2003, Questionnaire submitted by Royall, K. to Embleton, E., Royall, K., ‘Posters of the Second World War: The Fourth Arm of British Defence’, Unpublished M.A., University of Westminster, 1991, p.123, The Vintage Poster, ‘Norman Wilkinson’, http://www.thevintageposter.com/4942.html, accessed September 22 2003
Widger was Publicity Manager for G & J Weir Ltd, who put posters to music in factories.
Information collated from: Shaw, C.K., ‘Works Relations’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 124, No. 1,618, May 25 1944, p.259.Tweet
The cartoonist ‘Vicky’ was born Victor Weisz in Germany, of Hungarian Jewish extraction. He attended the Berlin School of Art, leaving when his father died in 1928, and published cartoons in German newspapers. As a member of the Jewish community with openly socialist political opinions, he decided to leave Germany once Adolf Hitler gained power. He settled in London in 1935, working on various newspapers and journals, including the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, New Statesman, and Evening Standard, becoming Britain’s leading left-wing cartoonist by the 1940s. In 1941, through to 1955, Vicky became staff cartoonist on the News Chronicle, ‘building a reputation as an incisive commentator on political events’. Vicky was personally commissioned to do work for the MOI by Edwin Embleton. One of Vicky’s most enduring creations was ‘Supermac’, a caricature produced in 1958, of Conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, intended ironically but often interpreted in Macmillan’s favour’. Suffering from depression and insomnia, Weisz committed suicide on February 22 1966.
Publications: Aftermath: Cartoons by Vicky (1946); Unpublished Cartoons by Vicky (1947); New Statesman Profiles (1957); Vicky’s World (1959); Home and Abroad (1964)
Information collated from: National Portrait Gallery, ‘Victor Weisz (1913-1966),’Vicky’; cartoonist’, http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/person.asp?LinkID=mp05898&role=art, accessed March 24 2004; Spartacus Schoolnet, ‘Victor Weisz (Vicky)’, http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Jvicky.htm, last updated June 24 2002, accessed March 25 2004; Questionnaire submitted by Royall, K. to Embleton, E., Royall, K., ‘Posters of the Second World War: The Fourth Arm of British Defence’, Unpublished M.A., University of Westminster, 1991, p.123; Anonymous, ‘Victor Weisz’, http://www.hungary.org.uk/English/diary/2002/weisz.htm, accessed March 25 2003Tweet
Captain Ward was a winner of a poster competition for the War Office, organised by the Army Education Scheme.
Information collated from: Anonymous, ‘Winning War Office Poster’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 127, No. 1,660, March 15 1945, p.362.Tweet
Described by Advertiser’s Weekly as ‘youthful’, ‘bespectacled’, with a ‘scholarly stoop’, Varnon had joined the Merchants Navy Comforts Service (MNCS) in late 1942. Varnon moved from his own business, Peter Varnon and Associated Artists in Norfolk Street, where he had done work for the MOI until he felt compelled to take a permanent job with the MNCS. Working under T. Kirkland Bridge, Varnon’s posters aimed to avoid the ‘charity appeal’. Varnon produced the majority of the Merchant Navy Comforts Service (MNCS) posters.
Information collated from: Anonymous, ‘Why M.N. Comforts Service Posters Have Proved a Success’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 122, No. 1,586, October 14 1943, p.35; Anonymous, ‘Artists Make the Wheels Go Round’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 124, No. 1,615, May 4 1944, p.203Tweet
Uptton appeared to specialise in religious imagery, including 121 images for the 1960s Egermeier’s Bible Story Book were ‘especially commissioned from the internationally known artist Clive Uptton’, and illustrations for various books authored by Hilda Rostron, including ‘The Lord’s Prayer’, for Ladybird.
Information collated from: Exodus Provisions, ‘Exodus Provisions – Item Details’, http://www.exodusbooks.com/details.asp?ExID=4565, accessed October 3 2003; 12testing.co.uk, ‘Listing of Ladybird Books – Series 612 – Prayers’, http://www.12testing.co.uk/~easy/ladybird/60s/612/612.htm, accessed October 3 2003Tweet