PAH - the man behind the brush and sprayer
Born 25th July 1925 and died 26th June 2000 barely scratches the surface
Born 25th July 1925 and died 26th June 2000 barely scratches the surface
Commercial Art - automotive advertising, book covers, shop-front sineage
The bread (and beer) earner...
It wasn't all work and no play, though...
Pan had a number of excellent artists to call on for covers, courtesy of poacher-cum-gamekeeper man-about-town and dodgy dealer Tony Bowen Davies - who was both an agent to innumerable artists (taking 20%) and the "Art Buyer" for Pan Books... It was completely unethical and meant that a lot of the artists were treated (ironically) with great suspicion by Pan, which was a bit unfair, but there was always a faint hostility between the freelance artists and the staff at Pan. Tony was an unusual and unscrupulous fellow - he went from being a top agent to working as a furniture buyer for Parker Knoll, from artists' agent and man-about-town to furniture dealer.
Pan Books, at the end of the year used to throw a little party for their reps who were all over the country taking the artists covers around with them, and they used to invite the artists as well, and that's where the artists were supposed to meet each other..... though many were never invited. Most were all very isolated anyway, working at home with basically no social gatherings - no associations, no clubs, no anything really. My old man used to drink in the Coach and Horses on Heath Street - actors and a few journalists - over the weekends, and occasionaly around Fleet Street during the week chasing work. Nearest they got to concerted action was moaning down the boozer...
And whilst there had been plenty of work for illustrators back in the 50's, it had gradually dried up in the 60s. Then some agents approached Pan Books to try to get them to pay their atists some more money, because they had been getting 60 guineas a cover for about 5 years - the comment came back that artists were overpaid in the first place, "we can get a photograph for 25 quid, why should we give the artists 60?" And so as his skills blossomed, his career vehicle collapsed around him - the very business my mother was involved in (photography) was the end of his livelyhood.
One of the earlier outfits Peter worked for was https://www.artistpartners.com/ which was started off in 1950 by G. Donovan Candler when he left a major London based artist’s agency to set up in business with L.A. Rix, Betty Luton White, John Barker and the designer Reg Mount (who, in his wartime work at the Ministry of Information is credited with coming up with the slogan "Keep Calm and Carry on."). They did not solicit the representation of those artists, designers and photographers whom they had previously represented but were, nevertheless, inundated with requests from many of them for representation, and so in two rooms in Lower John Street, Soho, Artist Partners was founded.
Within three years the business had expanded to represent some fifty artists, designers, and photographers, and had moved to premises occupying three floors in a prestigious building in Dover Street, Mayfair.
Amongst their clients was JAK, the cartoonist - my father called him Ray, and he answered to both! This was before he became famously controversial (or controversially famous?) as the London Evening Standard's Political Cartoonist - in those early fifties days he illustrated the TV and Sports pages... Peter greatly admired Ray's draughtsman skills and use of ink with mapping-pen and brush, and delighted in Ray's story about how he used to work at "retouching pubic hair on photographs for the magazine Health & Efficiency" - and they became drinking buddies around Fleet Street and Hampstead.
Also amongst their clients were famous photographers like Zoltán Glass (once, also, a cartoonist...) and Adrian Flowers (through whom Peter bacame friends with Brian Duffy), both of whom Peter's wife (and cousin) Angela worked for.
In '52 Adrian Flowers met his wife, also an Angela. They met in the January and she proposed to him in the February (it was a leap year) but he said no. Then he changed his mind and they got married a few weeks later - after about seven weeks of meeting! They lived down the hill in Belsize Park at 18 Englands Lane, and then Highgate (14 Grange Road) and there was a heady social whirl, parties and much Jazz, in between bouts of intense work... Peter's wife, Angela, was Adrian's studio manager for some years...
In the foreground:-
de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito FB Mk IV DZ353, 627 Squadron Royal Air Force (627 Sqn RAF) departed RAF Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire on the 19th June 1944 at 23:47 hrs to attack railways to prevent German troop reinforcements reaching Normandy. The first "Tallboy" (12,000lb bomb) was used on this night by 617 Sqn. Classed as successful raid with, out of a total of 483 aircraft used on this and other railways, only 4 were lost (3 Lancasters and 1 Mosquito). DZ353 being the only Mosquito lost on this raid crashed between Orgeres and St. Erblon in France - the reason has not been established.
F/Lt (46016) Harry STEERE DFC DFM (pilot) RAF- killed
F/O (Aus404241) Kenneth William GALE DFC (nav.) RAAF- killed
In the background:-
de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito FB Mk IV DZ353, 105 Squadron Royal Air Force (105 Sqn RAF) departed RAF Marham, Norfolk on the 30th January 1943 at 13:25 hrs for a raid into Berlin to interrupt large rallies addressed by Nazi leaders on that day. The raid was in two formations with 3 Mosquito's on each. The first 3 reached Berlin and bombed at mid morning - the exact time that Goering was due to speak. The speech was delayed for an hour - these 3 Mosquitos returned all safe. In the afternoon the next formation of 3 arrived at the time that Goebbels was due to speak and all again bombed at the correct time. German defences however had been alerted. DZ367 was shot down by AAA. 30.1.1943 near Altengrabow, Germany.
S/Ldr (40368) Donald Frederick William DARLING DFC (pilot) RAF - killed
F/O (116.695) William WRIGHT (obs) RAFVR - killed
Most of the backgrounds, all the people animals and other stuff was done by fellow artists - Peter only usually did the vehicles themselves.
The Capstan or his pipe were ever-present and filled the studio with a fug like the inside of a British boozer back in those days, along with the aroma of beer and spirits - the fuels that kept Peter going...
I delight in browsing through old magazines looking for adverts which look like Peter's. There are also a number of wonderful dealers in this kind of ephemera.
I must give special mention to Simon & Carol Hadwick who sell tins, shop display signs and packaging, enamel signs, mirrors and other advertising items - they are excellent at hunting out original advertising brochures and the like.
The Austin brochures featured in the Advertising Artwork section were bought from them, at the IACF Newark Antiques Fair...
Peter was very taken with the Allingham part of his name, he seemed to think it was a splendid link to the famous (and influential) illustrator and watercolourist Helen Alligham RWS of the Victorian age... he was totally oblivious to the fact that she was born Helen Mary Elizabeth Paterson. I suspect he might have quite liked her marriage partner - William Allingham, a slightly wild Irish poet, diarist and editor... and latterly a Hampstead resident, as was Peter and family.
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