Henry George Gawthorn was born in Northampton in July 1879. He trained at Regent Street Polytechnic initially training as an architect before becoming more interested in painting. He exhibited at the Royal Academy but started to work for the London and North Eastern Railway, one of the Big Four companies which operated between 1923 and 1948.
In his best posters Gawthorn used flat colours in a distinctive art deco style that portrayed cosmopolitan and glamorous people at the beach, on the river, or visiting a theatre. The intention being that their attractiveness and sophistication reflected on, some may have thought, rather more prosaic and humdrum locations. Living in Hampstead at the time Gawthorn died in September 1941 in New End Hospital after complications with a brain tumour.
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