HAWES, Meredith William

1905 - 1999

Meredith William Hawes was born at 38 Richmond Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey on 17 April 1905, son of William Osborne Hawes, a civil servant with the Admiralty, who spent his spare time in writing detective stories, plays and children's books, and his wife Rose Madeline née Hillyer, who married at Hackney, London in 1901. Educated at Selhurst Grammar School in Croydon and with his original interest was in becoming a scientist, and was about to take up a place at University College London to read Chemistry, however he decided that his future lay in art and studied instead at Croydon School of Art 1922-1924 and at the Royal College of Art, where his contemporaries included Edward Bawden [q.v.], Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) and Ceri Richards (1903-1979). His first post as a teaching assistant was at Bournemouth School of Art and after a short period at Derby College of Art as head of the design department Hawes moved to the College of Art in Hull as vice- principal. In 1938 Hawes was appointed Principal of the Bournville School of Art and Crafts, Birmingham, in 1945, Portsmouth College of Art and finally Birmingham College of Art, where he was also Director of the Branch Schools. Hawes still managed to find time to do graphic work for publishers including John Murray, the Oxford University Press and Jonathan Cape. As an artist he worked within the English landscape tradition but his pictures were always strong, vivid and solidly structured making use of several media, but by choice he worked in gouache or bodycolour (opaque watercolour). A member of both the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and the Royal Watercolour Society and exhibited widely including the Ipswich Art Club in 1933 from 134 Talbot Road, Norton Woods, Bournemouth 'Robinson Crusoe'. He married three time, In 1934 Edith Sylvia Kirkland, who died in 1959, secondly in 1961 Margery Shirra, and finally in 1971 Margarete Alldridge, a senior lecturer in art history at Birmingham, he had several children and step-children. He died Torpoint, Cornwall on 7 July 1999.




Works by This Painter