The Wokingham Paper

EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY: Casson … Architect, designer, artist and more


Sir Hugh Casson CH KCVO PRA RDI was one of our most respected and revered post war architects/interior designers.

He was also a television and radio personality and renowned artist who became president of the Royal Academy.

Born in Hampstead in 1910, Casson flourished at school and went on to study architecture at Cambridge and London Universities. He was to practice architecture for the whole of his life.

He was an incredibly talented architect and in 1948, when only 38 he was appointed Director of Architecture for the upcoming 1951 Festival of Britain.

He devoted so much time and energy to this massively successful British showpiece that he was knighted for his endeavours in 1952.

Following the success of the Festival his practice was inundated with high quality projects including the Elephant House at London Zoo and Cambridge University Arts Faculty buildings. He was also to create and run the school of Interior Design at the Royal School of Art.

Casson was also to work very closely with the Royal Family, designing the interiors for The Royal Yacht Britannia, Buckingham Palace, Balmoral and Windsor Castle.

He remained friends with many members of the Royal Family until his death in 1999.

For him as one of the country’s leading artists and designers, his career was capped in 1976 with his election to President of the Royal Academy of Arts, a post he was to hold for eight years. He was one of the most successful presidents ever of that auspicious organisation.

It was during his time that two associate groups were set up which still help support the Academy today, The Friends of the Royal Academy and the American Associates of the Royal Academy Trust.

However, it was as a watercolour artist that he became a household name (as well as his 1980s TV appearances). His watercolours are still highly sought after and are extremely collectible.

Despite little formal training as a draughtsman the precise nature of his artwork and the subtle use of pastel shades has held him in the highest regard as a true artist.

This picture is a limited edition print of St Edmund Hall in Oxford, hand signed in pencil by Sir Hugh Casson and numbered 163/500.

This picture is available currently in my showroom or online, along with many others, and is a real bargain at only £35.

Alternatively, we now offer a leasing arrangement, so this along with all of our paintings, can be rented for a small fixed monthly rental fee.

This piece, along with many other great works, is available to view, purchase or rent at AntiqArt, the “pre-loved art” gallery at Holme Grange Craft Village or online at or call 0118 327 5421.

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