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Faith Jaques (1923-1997)

Faith Jaques (1923-1997)

The quiet power of Faith Jaques’ illustrations lies in a combination of meticulous research, sensitive interpretation and clear observation.
Faith Jaques was born in Leicester on 13 December 1923, the daughter of a businessman. She attended Wyggeston Grammar School for Girls, until the age of fifteen, though she later said, ‘I ... truly believe I was educated by Penguin Books, public libraries and the BBC’ (Martin 1989, page 61).
First studying at Leicester College of Art (1941-42), she joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service in order to leave home, and was posted to Oxford. While there, she managed to take some lessons at Oxford School of Art under William Roberts and Bernard Meninsky, and it was then that she decided to become an illustrator. From early on, her favourite illustrators had been Rex Whistler and Eric Fraser.
Demobbed in December 1945, Jaques went to the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, on an ex-service grant ‘so low she was forced to lodge in a Salvation Army Hostel for her first six months’ (Nicholas Tucker, ‘Obituary’, Independent, 7 August 1997).

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