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Gorleston-on-Sea, Norfolk

Gorleston-on-Sea, Norfolk

Frederick Donald Blake (1908–1997)

National Railway Museum

Artist and designer, born in Greenock, Renfrewshire. After two years his parents moved to London, where he continued to live. Aged 13, Blake was funded by his amateur artist father to attend Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts for 18 months. At 15 went into a building trade drawing office, but for 10 years three nights a week attended such schools as Goldsmiths’ College and Brixton School of Building. Became head of a drawing office, doing working drawings for swimming baths, pub fronts and cinemas; worked for a luxury bathroom maker; then in World War II drew for Ministry of Information; followed by work for the Daily Express and freelancing for 20 years, clients including Reader’s Digest. Gave up commercial work to paint full-time. Was elected RI, RSMA, was president of the Wapping Group, and a member of London Sketch Club and Chelsea Arts Club.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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