1907 - 2007

Henry Holzer

Henry Robert W. Holzer was born at Tufnell Park Road, Islington, North London on 31 December 1907, second but eldest surviving son of Charles Holzer (25 August 1878-10 June 1943), a lithographic artist, and his wife Catherine Emilie Adelheid née Collatz (15 February 1886-29 October 1970), who married at Edmonton, London in 1905, Catherine Emilie died at Beccles, Suffolk in 1970. In 1911, Henry was a 3-year-old, living at 86 Tufnell Park Road, Islington with his parents, 32-year-old Charles and 25-year-old Catherine, who was born at Whitechapel, London, with two siblings, John 2 and Catherine Marie Louise (15 February 1911-29 October 2005), both born at Islington and in 1939 they were living at 2 St George's Avenue, Islington. Holzer enjoyed a happy childhood devoted to painting and drawing, with an amused appreciation of the everyday world around him, often drawing on the newspapers and packets in his grandmother's sweet shop. His Viennese-born father was a lithographer in the London office of Hbner, where Henry took an apprenticeship on leaving school and honed his artistic talent over long stints at evening classes, where he chalked up 1,000 hours of life drawing. He studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and the Regent Street Polytechnic, before taking up a teaching career at Hornsey College of Art. He married in the City of London in 1934, Helena Joan Hayes (1910-1982), and they had a son, Alan, and in 1939 were living at 28 Heathville Road, Islington, London, but divorce followed in 1940. War service saw a posting to peaceful northern India, where he spent most of his time painting the spectacular scenery, he ended the war as a second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery producing camouflage work and, in the weeks after VE Day, lithographs of anti-doodlebug defences on the Suffolk coast while stationed at Walberswick, Suffolk. Holzer's artistic skills had also been put to good use painting murals on the walls of the officers' mess in nearby Southwold, offending local ladies who mistook his cavorting mermaids and naiads for pornography, who refused to enter the room. In the end, he was ordered to paint them out. Back in London, he resumed his calling as a teacher, serving as head of printmaking at Hornsey until retirement in 1968. Following marriage at St Pancras, London in 1957, to his former student Pamela G. Platford (born 1934), his second family came to embrace seven children. In 1966, Holzer moved to an idyllic location in south Norfolk, with views over the Yare valley and was a member of the Great Yarmouth & District Society of Artists and was their president twice. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy and with the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers, as well as with the Roland Browse & Delbanco, Redfern Gallery, and Piccadilly Gallery. Featuring in many mixed exhibitions, he was prominent in the 50-artist show to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Aldeburgh festival in 1997. Henry Robert W. Holzer died on 8 July 2007, being survived by his wife Pamela, six sons and two daughters.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from 33 Highview, Pinner, Middlesex
1947 981 Lucky and Gary - wood engraving
from 2 St George's Avenue, North London
1954 1075 Marbled Cichlids - colour lithograph
1955 532 Snow in North Lopham
         1056 Snow in North London - lithograph
1957 1192 Prefabs - etching
1958 1002 Sunlight on the River - colour lithograph
from 42 Sydney Road, North London
1966 1013 Winter Landscape - etching
from Hill Farm House, Thurlton, Norwich, Norfolk
1967 782 Sun on Willow - colour print
         1158 Golf Course through Trees - drawing
         1164 Mist through Trees - etching

Works by This Artist