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Painter, pencil draughtsman, photographer, designer and teacher, born in London, full name John Humphrey Spender, brother of the poet Stephen Spender. He was a fellow of the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers and an honorary designer, Royal College of Art. Spender attended Gresham’s School, Holt, then in 1928 went to Freiburg in Breisgau (Schwarzwald) University, “for language (under cover of history of art)”. From 1928–34 Spender gained his diploma at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. His teachers included Howard Robertson. In 1935–41 Spender took a photographic studio, working for Picture Post, Mass Observation and the Daily Mirror as Lensman (in 1987 a book of Lensman photographs was published with Spender’s introduction).

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

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