Lewis Christopher Edward Baumer, RI PS (1870-1963)
‘he was in a way the leader and certainly the most popular of the social commentators, using “social” in the old rather than the new sense’ (R G G Price 1957, page 206)
Admired for his elegant line, Lewis Baumer was a versatile artist who developed strong reputations as both a children’s illustrator and a Punch cartoonist.
Lewis Baumer was born in St John’s Wood, London, on 8 August 1870, and educated at University College School, Gower Street. Encouraged by his parents to become an artist, he studied first (in 1887) under A A Calderon at St John’s Wood School of Art, alongside Byam Shaw and Rex Vicat Cole. He then went on to the National Art Training School, South Kensington, and the Royal Academy Schools. He exhibited widely from 1892, but soon became better known as a black and white artist and illustrator, contributing illustrations to The Pall Mall Magazine (1893) and other magazines.
In 1897, Baumer established himself as an illustrator of children’s books, publishing both Jumblies to his own text, and Hoodie, his first collaboration with Mrs Molesworth. In the same year, he published a cartoon in Punch, and would become a regular contributor over five decades.
As a painter, pastellist and printmaker, Baumer became a member of the Pastel Society (by 1908) and the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (1921). He also belonged to the Langham Sketching Club, the Arts Club and the Chelsea Arts Club.
Living at addresses in St John’s Wood for most of his life, he died on 25 October 1963.