HAWES, Meredith William

1905 - 1999

Meredith William Hawes, was born at 38 Richmond Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey on 17 April 1905, son of Walter 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. In 1901, a 5 year old, living at 38 Richmond Road, Thornton Heath with his parents, 40 year old Walter and 33 year old Rose, and his grandmother 55 year old Amelia Hillyer. Educated at Selhurst Grammar School in Croydon, his original interest was in becoming a scientist and was about to take up a place at University College London to read Chemistry, but decided that his future lay in art which he studied 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 and in 1939 was living at 92 Rednal Road, Birmingham with his first wife Edith. In 1945, Meredith took a position as Principal of Portsmouth College of Art and followed finally at the Birmingham College of Art 1946-1951, 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 firstly at Richmond Hill Congregational Church, Bournemouth on 28 August 1934, Edith Sylvia Kirkland (23 March 1905-1959), also an artist, who died in 1959 and secondly at St Mary's Church, Moseley, Birmingham on 8 July 1961, Margery, widow of William Stephen Shirra and thirdly at Shipston-on-Stour in 1971, Margarete Alldridge, a senior lecturer in art history at Birmingham. He had several children and step-children and died at Torpoint, Cornwall on 7 July 1999.

Works by This Artist