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John Farleigh

by Karl Pollak
chlorobromide print on card mount, circa 1948
14 3/4 in. x 11 3/4 in. (374 mm x 300 mm) image size
Purchased, 1969
NPG x15018

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Tony Copsey

01 December 2017, 19:07
Frederick William Charles Farleigh, known as John Farleigh, was born at St Pancras, London on 16 June 1900, only son of Frederick Charles Farleigh, a billiard marker, and his wife Mary Ann (Annie) nee Watling, who married at Kensington, London in 1897. In 1911, a 10 year old student living at Block 5, Iverna Gardens, Kensington, London with his parents, 42 year old Frederick, now a caretaker, and 36 year old Mary Ann and his 12 year old sibling sister, Edith Ellen. Farleigh left school at the age of 14 and enlisted as an apprentice at the Artists' Illustrators Agency in London, applying himself to lettering, wax engravings and black and white drawings intended for advertising, during which time he attended drawing classes at the Bolt Court School. In 1918, he was drafted into the army until the peace in November the same year, when he resumed his apprenticeship, being awarded a government grant to study at the London County Council Central School of Arts and Crafts for three years, studying under Bernard Meninsky (1891-1950) and under Noel Rooke (1881-1953) who educated him in wood-engraving. An art teacher at Rugby School 1922-1925, before returning to the Central School of Arts and Crafts where he taught antique and still-life drawing and illustration. An English wood-engraver, noted for his illustrations of George Bernard Shaw's 'The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God' and D. H. Lawrence's 'The Man Who Died' and for posters he designed for London County Council Tramways and London Transport. Farleigh was also a painter, lithographer, author and art tutor and a founder member and chairman of the Crafts Centre of Great Britain. Prior to the Second World War he maintained an art studio at Walberswick, Suffolk, close to the steam ferry waterway on the riverbank. His exhibitions included at Leicester Gallery; Manchester City Art Gallery; Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers; Royal Scottish Academy and Cooling and Sons Gallery and elected an Associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers in 1937 and a full member in 1948. He married at Kensington, London in 1925, Elsie Ida Evelyn Wooden (born 17 January 1900) and in 1939, a writer lecturer on art, living at 'Berwick', The Lees, East Ashford, Kent, with his wife Elsie and daughter Mary (born 2 March 1927) and was awarded a C.B.E. in 1949. He was of 36 Belsize Grove, Hampstead when he died at Hampstead General Hospital, London N.W.3, on 30 March 1965.

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