Sketchbook record from 1943, by Hermione Hammond

One more family archive…a sketchbook made during the second world war (the sketches are signed and dates from 1943) by my granny’s first cousin Hermione Hammond (Tooker). She was a fascinating lady who I wish I had seen more and spoken to in more detail; my only memory is of seeing her studio in London and meeting her briefly as a child. So, here is a compilation of some of her work from a sketchbook dated 1943 – as a small memory of her from me.

Hermione Hammond is most famous for her paintings of London damaged by the Blitz during World War II. She was Born in Hexam, Northumberland 11 August 1910, and had one brother and one sister. KNown by her relatives as Tooker, she attended the Francis Holland School in London and went on to study art at the Chelsea Polytechnic and then at the Royla Academy Schools, under Walter Russel and Tom Monnington. She learned mural decoration at the Rpyal College of Art and attended night classes in etching.

Hermione supported herself by winning prizes and doing odd jobs. One such job was the altarpiece in the ecumenical chapel of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, another was the altarpiece at Marlborough House School, Tenterden. After winning the competition to decorate the ceiling of the new Senate House of London University in 1937 she gained a Rome Scholarship in 1938, but her studies there were cut short by the outbreak of war. With an added sense of urgency, she absorbed all she could of the Italian Renaissance in Rome, Florence, Arezzo and Ravenna. Hammond left Mussolini’s Italy for England via Switzerland. In 1949 Tooker resumed her professional career which continued until the 1990s. She died, aged 94, in 2005.

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