LEWIS, John Noel Claude

1912 - 1996

John Noel Claude Lewis, was born at Rhoose on the west side of Cardiff, on 11 December 1912, only son of Claude Pritchard Lewis (1 March 1882-31 May 1958), a bank manager, and his wife Margaretta Mary née Morris (29 July 1888-1956), who married at Fulham, London in 1910. Educated at Charterhouse School and originally destined for the medical profession but, moving to Deptford, studied art at Goldsmiths' under Rowland Hilder (1905-1993), who also awoke his passion for ships and the sea; among his fellow-students was Denton Welch (1915-1948). An author, illustrator, graphic designer and typographer, in 1935 he set up as a freelance illustrator, and was doing fairly well when war broke out. This he spent in camouflage, a neglected art between the wars that had to be revived, which took him to Canada. In 1939, an artist and lance-bombardier in the army, living with his parents at 9 Castle Street, Farnham, Surrey and was later commissioned. James Gardner (1907-1995), who was also in the camouflage section and who had made Puffin Books a household word, provided an introduction to W. S. Cowell Ltd., of Ipswich, who were anxious to move the firm into printing more substantial books than Puffin's. The first product was 'A Handbook of Printing Types' (1947), at once a manual and a showcase of Cowell's resources, notably in the technique, still new for books, of photo-lithography and a purchase of scrap-book of ephemera at an Ipswich second-hand bookseller, led him to to pursue and collect these then unconsidered trifles that made his 'Printed Ephemera', when it came out, a pioneering study. He married at Guildford in late 1940, Griselda Margaret Rideout (1917-2014) and they settled at Cumberland House, Manningree in Essex but later moved to Meadow Cottage, Great Bealings, Woodbridge, Suffolk. One-time tutor at the Royal College of Art, he and his wife were the authors of several books. He died at died at Great Bealings, Woodbridge on 22 December 1996.

Works by This Artist