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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ronald Lampitt

A recent enquiry prompted a search for information on Ronald Lampitt, details of whose life are pretty sparse. Ronald George Lampitt, born in Worcester on 16 March 1906, produced illustrations for magazines, including Zoo, Passing Show, Illustrated, Modern Wonder, John Bull, Look and Learn and Treasure. In the early 1950s, he could be found in the pages of Mickey Mouse Weekly, illustrating "The Story of Lassie".

His main subject was landscape paintings and paintings of rural scenes; his scenic views of towns were published as travel posters by railway companies, including G.W.R. and Southern Railway.

His book illustrations included work for Summer Pie, Oxford University Press and Ladybird Books, many of them in collaboration with Henry James Deverson (1908-1972). Lampitt's association with Deverson included working on the Mainly for Children series published by the Sunday Times in the early 1960s but also went deeper as Lampitt was married to H.J.'s sister, Mona Deverson (1911-1995), in 1938. The couple had two daughters, Judy and Susan.

Lampitt lived for some five decades (1938/88) at the same address, 10 Old Farm Road East, Sidcup, Kent. His death was registered in Bexley, Kent in October 1988, aged 82.

An interesting photo from circa 1900 appears on the Getty Images website of Henry Lampitt, captioned "grandfather of the artist Ronald Lampitt, at home with his family in Fladbury, Worcestershire". A little digging turns up a few facts about Henry... he was born in Fladbury in 1851 and was resident there until his death in 1922. He was married in 1874 and had 11 children. Henry's third son, Rowland Edward Lampitt (1879-1959), a clerk with Great Western Railways, was married in 1904 to Florence Pope and Ronald was the first of three sons. His father's job meant that Ronald probably grew up in Fladbury, Worcestershire, and in Middlesex, youngest brother John being born in Brentford in 1920.


Written & Illustrated
The Story of Paint. Darwen, Walpamur Co. Ltd., 1962.

Illustrated Books
The Children's Own Wonder Book, with others. London, Odhams Press, 1947.
The Map That Came to Life by H. J. Deverson. London, Geoffrey Cumberlege/Oxford University Press, 1948. [available online here]
The Open Road by H. J. Deverson. London, Oxford University Press, 1962.
The Story of Bread by H. J. Deverson. Harmondsworth, Penguin Books in association with Ranks Hovis McDougall (Puffin Picture Book 119), 1964.
Animals and How They Live by Frank Newing & Richard Bowood. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth (Ladybird Books), 1965.
Plants and How They Grow by Frank Newing & Richard Bowood. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth (Ladybird Books), 1965.
Birds and How They Live by Frank Newing & Richard Bowood. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth (Ladybird Books), 1966.
A Ladybird Book of Our Land in the Making: Book 1: Earliest Times to the Norman Conquest by Richard Bowood. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth (Ladybird Books), 1966.
A Ladybird Book of Our Land in the Making: Book 2: Norman Conquest to Present Day by Richard Bowood. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth (Ladybird Books), 1966.
Understanding Maps by Nancy Scott. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth (Ladybird Books), 1967.
Ideas for the Garden by Ray Proctor. London, Wolfe, 1972.
Learning About Insects and Small Animals by Romola Showell. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth (Ladybird Books), 1972.
What to Look for Inside a Church by P. J. Hunt. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth (Ladybird Books), 1972.
What to Look for Outside a Church by P. J. Hunt. Loughborough, Wills & Hepworth (Ladybird Books), 1972.

(* Illustrations (c) Look and Learn Ltd.; cover image of The Map That Came to Life is from the Visual Telling of Stories website which has further examples of Lampitt's work)


Mike W said...

Ronald Lampitt was a magnificent artist - he was particularly good with trees - as was SR Badmin. I believe both of them illustrated covers for Readers' Digest when it was at its best. It appears a rather sad item in the newsagents nowadays - unlike the National Geographic Magazine which has maintained a stately presence.

Norman Boyd said...

I never much liked my Father-in-Law's taste in art, but one scene he bought and still hangs on my Mother-in-Law's wall is a rural scene of a farm at the bottom of a hilly lane. He bought it as it reminded him of the farm in south Essex from his childhood.

The colour (as in your blog post) appears somewhat 'dull' and reminded me of Constable's light.

Thanks for the link Steve - great stuff as usual

over.the.rainbow said...

I have an original signed Lampitt painting in gouache of a village Christmas scene, which I found in my dad's old folio, and which hangs on the sitting room wall. I've never seen it reproduced anywhere which is a pity as the draughtsmanship and treatment of trees and figures in the evening light is masterful. It's about 30cm x 20cm and may have been the artwork for a Christmas card. P. Travis.

feedergoldfish said...

Stumbled across your post, right after I'd careened wildly into The Map That Came to Life. Love the illustrations in that book, especially the cover. There's an interesting theory regarding the children portrayed, which I mention in a blog post. The first illustration in your post is amazing! Lampitt was really gifted! And I love that he lived on Old Farm Road East. That tickles me. Thanks!

David Antscherl said...

I happened upon your site just now. I was a close neighbour of the Lampitt family in the late 1940's and early '50's. His daughter Judy was in the same primary school class as myself. I visited their home frequently around 1951 to '53. I remember being extremely fascinated as Ronald worked at his drawing board. I have a clear recollection of watching him render an aerial view of Buckingham Palace. This, and his landscapes, influenced me to pursue a career in art and illustration later on.

Unknown said...

Hi I would love to own an original Lampit painting. Might you be interested in selling yours. Thanks david