Provenance: The artist's nephew, David Cuppleditch until c.1999; Private Collection.
Exhibited (?): The Fine Art Society, London 1900, ‘Pictures for Children’; Leighton House, London 1968, ‘A Tribute to John Hassall’.
Literature: David Cuppleditch, The John Hassall Lifestyle, Dilke Press Essex, 1979, p 135
Around the turn of the century Hassall produced a number of nursery frieze designs for Liberty's . These original designs were printed as lithographs by Jellico and Co. to be fixed directly to the walls of children's nurseries. As such few, possibly none, are known to have survived. The designs were part of a wider collaboration between Cecil Aldin and John Hassall - Art for the Nursery - aimed at making the appearance of children's rooms more attractive.
.....So very little trouble is nowadays by the majority of people regarding the fitting up of the children's part of the house. Perhaps on the walls they paste or hang up one of two nursery rhymes, so small that the child can hardly read them. The general appearance of the room is dowdy and unattractive. parents seem to think that children do not derive any pleasure or benefit form any efforts they may make towards decorating the nursery. I believe just the opposite: hence my model nursery.' (Cecil Aldin, A model Nursery, Women's Life Sept 8 1900).
The results were shown at an exhibition at The Fine Art Society in 1900 'Art for the Nursery'.
John Hassall also produced nursery friezes showing 'Old King Cole...l', 'Hark, Hark! The Dogs do Bark....' and a series of three upright panels called 'Morning, Noon and Night
A related series of designs for a children''s nursery by Hassall, from the same period , are in the collection of the V&A Museum.
John Hassall (1868-1948)
Cartoonist, illustrator, designer, painter and teacher, born in Walmer, Kent. He was the father of the artist Joan Hassall and the writer Christopher Hassall. After education in England and Germany, and twice failing to gain a commission at Sandhurst, he emigrated to Manitoba, Canada, where he farmed. In the early 1890s, after some success contributing sketches to The Graphic, he moved back to Europe, studying art in Antwerp, then enrolling at the Academie Julian in Paris. Returning to England in the mid 1890s Hassall became a popular cartoonist and one of the most celebrated poster designers of his generation (his designs Included the well-known advertisement "Skegness Is so bracing."). Hassall illustrated numerous books (especially for Blackie and Co.) and periodicals such as The Idler, London Opinion, Pearson's Magazine and The Tatler. For many years he ran his own school of art, the New Art School and School of Poster Design. He was a member of RI, RWA, London Sketch and Savage Clubs. He lived in London and designed posters for the Great Northern Railway and numerous other clients. Like many artists who achieved a huge reputations through commercial work, Hassall craved public recognition of a different sort. Through his Royal Academy exhibits - larger, ambitious, historical works - he sought to establish himself as an academic painter. These works, however, lack the originality, liveliness and invention of his instantly recognisable and hugely successful commercial work.
See all works by John Hassall