Draughtsman in pen, ink and wash, painter in oils, illustrator and writer, born in Bolton, Lancashire, to which he finally returned. After studying at the Bolton School of Art, in 1945 Fletcher attended the Slade School of Fine Art under Randolph Schwabe. London became Fletcher’s enduring interest and during these early years he relaxed in the capital’s remaining music-halls which, with the songs he learnt in them and offbeat aspects of the city, remained a passion. While still at University College he studied with Sir Albert Richardson at the Bartlett School of Architecture. In 1950 Fletcher’s drawings began to appear in The Manchester Guardian and he contributed to Sphere, recording old and changing London, in 1958 being taken on by The Daily Telegraph.
During the next 30 years hundreds of his drawings accompanied its diary column. Fletcher’s first book was The London Nobody Knows, 1962, and a documentary film with that title, directed by Norman Cohen, scripted by Fletcher, with James Mason as the guide, was produced by British Lion Films in 1967. Another 17 London-oriented titles appeared, the last being London a Private View, 1990. Fletcher also produced The Elements of Sketching, in 1966, one of several such manuals. He campaigned for the preservation of the best of historic London, being aggrieved at such wanton destruction as the demolition of The Coal Exchange. His work became so well known that on one occasion, as he was sketching, a passer-by tapped him on the shoulder and said: “You must change your style. You are too much like Geoffrey Fletcher.” Fletcher also travelled in France, the Netherlands and Italy, the last documented in his book Italian Impressions, 1974, also drawing the figure and still life. He exhibited at the RA, RBA, NEAC and in the north of England. The Guildhall Library print room and Guildhall Art Gallery hold large collections of his work, the latter organising the exhibition Geoffrey Fletcher’s City Sights in 2005.
Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)
Artworks by Geoffrey Scowcroft Fletcher
A Few Late Chrysanthemums, Launcelot Street, Lambeth, LondonGeoffrey Scowcroft Fletcher (1923–2004)
Houses in Noel RoadGeoffrey Scowcroft Fletcher (1923–2004)