GRAHAM, Kenneth Leslie

1900 - 1979

Kenneth Graham

Kenneth Leslie Graham was born at 22 Cheltenham Street, Armley, Leeds on 8 February 1900, second child and only son of Thomas Graham, a schoolteacher, and his wife Lavinia née Waite, who married at Leeds in 1895. In 1901, Kenneth was living at 22 Cheltenham Street, Leeds with his parents, 33-year-old Thomas and 30-year-old Lavinia, and his only sibling, 4-year-old Dorothy but by 1911 they had moved to 45 Kensington Road, Barnsley, Yorkshire where his father taught at Holgate Grammar School but by 1921, they had moved to 32 Western Street, Barnsley. Kenneth Graham was painting by the age of 7 and by the age of 16 was exhibiting and selling his work but, on leaving school, Graham trained as a Colliery Surveyor. After serving as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force at the tail-end of the Great War, he then started work at Wood Brothers Glass Company at Hoyle Mill, Barnsley becoming their Chief Designer. During the 1920s and 30s, he became widely recognised as a designer, painter, and illustrator and in 1932 Graham’s interest in Barnsley inspired him to produce forty-six pen sketches of the town and surrounding district which were published in the 'Barnsley Chronicle' in 1932. Throughout the 1930s Graham exhibited regularly with Barnsley and District Art Society and occasionally with both the Wakefield and Sheffield Art Societies, when he exhibited in 1938 a still life 'Buckets'. He also exhibited at the Royal Academy in their ‘British Artists in Industry’ exhibition in 1934. In 1938, Graham qualified as a Designer in Industry and left Wood Brothers taking the position as Creative Manager at Coty’s Perfumery in London, designing many striking perfume bottles. He married at Holyrood Church, Barnsley, Yorkshire in 1925, Lenore Lena Armitage (20 July 1903-1989) and in 1939, was manager of the creative department at Coty, living at 16C Courtfield Gardens, Kensington, London with his wife Lenore. After serving in the Second World War, Kenneth was an Industrial Consultant Designer working from his studio office and opened the Da Vinci Gallery in Duke Street, St James’, London. He also wrote for various magazines including ‘The Glass Container’ and ‘The Glass Packer’ also publishing his own magazine ‘The Collector’. He lived at Melbury Cottages, West Kensington and in 1973 he retired to Woolpit in Suffolk where he painted a scene at Woolpit. Kenneth Leslie Graham died at Melbury Green Road, Woolpit, Bury St Edmund's on 30 March 1979. The Cooper Gallery at Barnsley held an exhibition of his work in 2013 'Take a tour of Barnsley in 1932 through the eyes of artist Kenneth Graham'.

Works by This Artist