Geoffrey Dickinson (1933-1988)
Geoffrey Dickinson is now best remembered for his exuberant and inventive covers for Punch, which reveal his painterly aspirations and wide-ranging illustrative talents.
Geoffrey Dickinson was born in Liverpool on 5 May 1933, the son of Albert Dickinson, a master coach-painter. On leaving school, he studied at Southport School of Art (1950-53) and the Royal Academy Schools (1953-57), intending to become a landscape painter. He taught full-time at Tavistock Boys’ School, Croydon (1957-58), and then part-time at Selhurst Grammar School, Croydon (1958-67), where his pupils included Martin Honeysett. While at Selhurst, he produced graphics and animated cartoons for BBC television, on a freelance basis.
Dickinson began to contribute to Punch in 1963, and produced a number of covers, one of which won first prize at the Congress of the International Federation of Periodical Publishers, held in Rome in 1965. This led to his being offered the position of Deputy Art Editor, and becoming a member of the Punch Table. While at Punch, he contributed to a wide range of magazines, and sat as a member of the jury at international cartoon festivals, including 3rd Salão de Humor de Piracicaba, Brazil, in 1976.
In 1984, Dickinson left Punch and joined the Financial Times, producing a daily pocket cartoon and comic illustrations for the weekend supplement. He died four years later at King’s College Hospital, London, on 21 March 1988.
His work is represented in the collections of the British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent (Canterbury).