Royal Designers for Industry & Britain Can Make It, 1946

Black and white photo of Margaret Leischner holding a drink and smiling at the camera

Margaret Leischner

Textile Designer (1908-1970) Born in Dresden in 1908 Margaret Leischner studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule Dresden (State Academy of Applied Art) in 1926. She then attended the Bauhaus Dessau, where she was taught by the artist Paul Klee and worked with Anni Albers (1927-30). On graduation she then assisted Gunta Stolzl, the head of the weaving…

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Black and white portrait of Enid Marx drawing over an easel

Enid Marx

Painter and Designer (1902-1998) Enid Dorothy Crystal Marx was born in London on 20th October 1902. She first went to school in Hampstead, then at the age of 12 she boarded at Roedean in West Sussex where she benefitted from an excellent art teacher. In 1921 she entered the Central School of Arts & Crafts to…

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Black and white portrait of Francis Meynell holding a parcel

Francis Meynell

Typographer and Publisher (1891-1975) Francis Meynell was born in Bayswater, London, on 12th May 1891. He attended St Anthony’s School, Eastbourne until he was fourteen when he went to Downside School. In 1909 he entered Trinity College Dublin but left early in his third year without taking a degree. Meynell started work in his father’s…

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Black and white portrait of Alastair Morton looking into the distance

Alastair Morton

Businessman, Designer and Artist (1910-1963) Alastair James Fagan Morton was born in Carlisle on 12th February 1910. Dogged by illness that permanently damaged his heart Morton attended St George’s School, Harpenden and then went to Balliol College, Oxford to study mathematics (1929-30). In 1931 he started work at Morton Sundour Fabrics Ltd, part of his…

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Black and white portrait of Keith Murray leaning over drawings with a teapot by his side

Keith Murray

Designer (1892-1981) Keith Day Pearce Murray was born on 5th May 1892 in Auckland, New Zealand and emigrated to Britain, with his parents, in 1906. He served with distinction with the Royal Air Force and Royal Flying Corps during the First World War earning the Military Cross and the Croix de Guerre Belge, and from…

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Black and white portrait of Milner Gray sitting down with another man over a pile of papers

Brian O’Rorke

Architect (1907-1964) Edward Brian O’Rorke was born in Christchurch, New Zealand on 14th June 1901. Educated at Wellington College, Jesus College, Cambridge and the Architectural Association School of Architecture he was awarded the RIBA Dawnay Prize in 1926. Five years later he was a runner-up in the competition to design the new headquarters building for…

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Black and white portrait of Ernest Race smiling at someone just out of shot

Ernest Race

Furniture and Textile Designer (1913-1964) Soon after he was born in Newcastle on 16th October 1914 Race and his family moved to London. On leaving St Paul’s School in 1932 Race took a three-year course on interior design at the Bartlett School of Architecture. Although he quickly found employment as a model maker Race turned…

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Black and white photo of A.B. Read with a colleague by a drawing table

A.B. Read

Lighting Designer (1898-1973) Born in Willingdon, Sussex on 29th May 1898 Alfred Burgess Read, or A.B as he was known to his friends, attended Eastbourne Grammar School before attending Eastbourne College of Art. His education was interrupted by the First World War, in which he served as a Second Lieutenant in the Welsh Guards and…

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Black and white portrait of Dick Russell drawing at a table

Dick Russell

Furniture Designer (1903-1981) Born in Repton, Derbyshire on 21st December 1903 Richard Drew Russell grew up in the Cotswold village of Broadway. Dick, as he was known, was introduced to furniture design when he joined his older brother, Gordon, in the repair shop mending furniture for their father’s country hotel, The Lygon Arms. With his…

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Black and white portrait of Gordon Russell in a pinstripe suit and round glasses

Gordon Russell

Furniture Designer (1892-1980) Born in Cricklewood on 20th May 1892 Sydney Gordon Russell was nine years old when his family moved to Repton and then, in 1904, to the Cotswold village of Broadway, Worcestershire where his father turned the Lygon Arms into a country house hotel. His attendance at Chipping Campden school meant that Russell…

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