André Amstutz, animator
Educated at Brighton School of Art in the early years of the Second World War, André Amstutz became an animator for Gaumont British (GB) Animation, before developing his career on a number of professional skills, including art directing for a number of leading British advertising agencies, poster designing and the prolific illustration of children’s books.
Following his training in art and design at Brighton, Amstutz served in the Army in the final phases of the Second World War. He then worked for the Musical Paintboxanimation team under Henry Stringer at GB Animation in Cookham, Berkshire. The Musical Paintbox series of short films (1948-50) combined animation, artwork, music and narration and was centred on British history and culture and themed around different geographical locations such as “The Thames”, “Wales”, “Somerset” and “Sketches of Scotland”, an idea conceived by David Hands, who had gained financial support for GB Animation from J Arthur Rank on the strength of having worked previously for Disney on Bambi and Snow White. During the 1950s he was an art director for leading advertising agencies such as the London Press Exchange and Colman, Prentice & Varley, the art department of the latter being run by the highly influential Jack Beddington, formerly Publicity Manager for Shell-Mex and BP and Director of the Films Division at the Ministry of Information during the Second World War. Amongst Anson’s clients for posters, publicity and advertising materials were Shell, British European Airways (including posters and refreshment packs), the British Travel Authority and the General Post Office.
From the 1960s onwards he also developed a reputation as a prolific and highly successful illustrator of children’s books, many of which were written by Allan and Janet Ahlberg, including Master Salt the Sailor’s Son (1980), Hip-Hippo-Hooray (1981), The Man Who Wore All His Clothes (2001) and The Baby in the Hat (2008). He was also a member of the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers.
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In Mach 2009, André wrote to Philippa Lyon, after she had sent him a copy of the Faculty’s 150th Anniversary book. He replied:
I am writing to thank you for sending the excellent anniversary book of the Brighton School fo Art.
Nostalgia FLEW off the front end-papers! featuring Morgan Rendle, who along with F.C.Herrick, were my principle tutors in the Commercial Art Dept. of that time. (1940-43)
It is fascinating to read of the Faculty development over so many years and I hope its continuing success will ensure the deserved recognition.
With my very best wishes,