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Artist - Ruskin Spear

Ruskin Spear, born 1911 in Hammersmith, London, died 1990. Designed posters for London Transport 1987

  • Educated; Hammersmith School of Art;
  • Educated; Royal College of Art; 1930-1934


The artistic talent of Ruskin Spear was recognised from an early age with a series of scholarships. He went on to become a highly regarded portrait painter. His sitters ranged from distinguished figures in British society, such as John Betjeman and Laurence Olivier, to enigmatic characters he met in his local pubs in Hammersmith and Chiswick. In spite of his growing reputation as a skilled painter, Spear defended his status a 'working class cockney'. His view on life was well known: 'ars longa, vita brevis', painting, breathing, drinking. Spear went on teach painting at the Royal College of Art, where he had studied as a young man.

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