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Joan Hassall (1906-1988)

Joan Hassall (1906-1988)

Working as a wood engraver, illustrator and typographer, Joan Hassall developed a sensitive style and meticulous technique reminiscent of Thomas Bewick.
Joan Hassall was born in Notting Hill, London, on 3 March 1906, the daughter of John Hassall [see pages 73-74] and his second wife. She was educated at Norland Place School, Holland Park, and Parsons Mead School, Ashtead, Surrey.
With talents in both art and music, she had hoped to train as a musician, but her parents persuaded her to become a general teacher, and she studied at the Froebel Education Institute, Roehampton. In 1927, she spent some time working as secretary to her father, while he was running the London School of Art. However, she soon turned to art herself and studied art at the Royal Academy Schools (1928-33), winning a Landseer Scholarship in her third year, and developing as a portrait painter under the guidance of Gerard Kelly. Enrolling at the LCC’s School of Photo-Engraving and Lithography, Bolt Court, Fleet Street, in 1931, she studied wood engraving under R John Beedham and, inspired by the work of Thomas Bewick, became involved in the revival of the medium.

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