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Ernest Howard Shepard MC OBE (1879-1976)


Ernest Howard Shepard, MC OBE (1879-1976)

While E H Shepard is now best remembered for his immortal illustrations to Winnie-the-Pooh and The Wind in the Willows, he was a wide-ranging artist and illustrator, with an unsurpassed genius for representing children, and an underrated talent for political cartoons.

Ernest Howard Shepard was born at 55 Springfield Road, St John’s Wood, London, on 10 December 1879, the youngest of the three children of the architect and amateur watercolourist, Henry Dunkin Shepard, and his wife, Jessie, the daughter of the watercolourist, William Lee. He was initially educated at St John’s Wood Preparatory School. Then, following his mother’s death in 1890, and the family’s move to Hammersmith, he attended Colet Court School and St Paul’s School. He was encouraged in his early talent for drawing at St Paul’s, and took extra classes at Heatherley’s School of Art. In 1897, he was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Academy Schools, and studied there until 1902, winning the Landseer Scholarship, the British Institution Prize and other awards.

Receiving much pleasure from his work as an oil painter, Shepard exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts for the first time in 1901, while he was living at 52 Glebe Place, Chelsea.

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