Harold Sandys Williamson

Harold Sandys Williamson

1892 - 1978

Born 1892 in Leeds; Died 1978 (location not yet known)

Painter and poster designer.

Harold Sandys Williamson is best known as a war artist and poster designer for London Transport. He attended Leeds School of Art (1911-14) before studying for one year at the Royal Academy Schools (1914-15). Williamson was a soldier during the First World War, enlisting in the King's Royal Rifle Corps in 1916. Williamson was wounded in combat an a number of occasions and, during his periods away from the front, he produced a series of powerful war paintings. One harrowing painting entitled 'A German Attack on a Wet Morning, April 1918' (Imperial War Museum, IWM.ART.1986) captures the harsh brutality of trench warfare and is typical of Williamson's war imagery. Between 1937 and 1943 Williamson was Chairman of the London Group, a well known exhibiting society. He was also Headmaster of Chelsea School of Art for nearly thirty years (1930-58) and employed Henry Moore as head of a new sculpture department in 1932. The interwar years provided Williamson with frequent work and between 1922 and 1939 he designed many art-deco inspired posters for the General Post Office, the Underground Group and London Transport. During World War II Williamson was commissioned to paint London scenes.

Williamson is represented by public collections including the Imperial War Museum, Hepworth Wakefield, Pallant House Chichester, British Council, and the British Postal Museum and Archive.