PENN, John

1921 - 2007

Born at Greens Norton, Towcester, Northamptonshire on 11 March 1921, son of Frank Penn (18 August 1884-1961) and his wife Audrey née Lee [Penn q.v.], who married at Towcester, Northamptonshire in 1920 and shortly after John's birth they moved to Bawdsey Hall, Suffolk. Penn was educated at Eton, and then at Trinity College, Cambridge where he studied History, his studies were interrupted when he served in the Second World War, during this time, he won the Military Cross for bravery. In 1939 an art student living at Bawdsey Hall, near Woodbridge, Suffolk with his parents, Frank, 'on private means', and Audrey with five indoor servants including a 'masseur'. An architect, abstract painter and furniture designer and spent some time in the United States with architect Richard Neutra (1892-1970) and his buildings were influenced by the Case Study Houses. His work includes a factory, and a pavilion for Trinity College, Cambridge, and several private houses in Suffolk. He taught at the Cambridge school of architecture until 1957, and then at Hammersmith College of Art and Building until 1970, although at the same time he set up in practice at his home, Little Haddon Hall, near Ipswich. As an artist, Penn first exhibited in San Francisco in 1952; in succeeding years, his work, abstract in nature, could be seen at one-man shows at various galleries in London and Suffolk. His unique folding chair was designed in 1971. He died at Ipswich on 14 February 2007.

Works by This Artist