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Gertrude Demain Hammond: Artist

Posted in Art, Artist on Thursday, 7 July 2011

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Gertrude Ellen Demain Hammon was born in Brixton in 1862, the daughter of Horatio Demain Hammond, a banker’s clerk, and his wife Eliza Mary Hammond. She was Baptized at St. Giles, Camberwell, on 6 July 1862. She was the second child of three, all of whom became artists: her elder sister Christina Mary Demain Hammond (1860-1900) was an illustrator under the name Chris Hammond; and her younger brother, Percy Edward Demain Hammond (1866-1946) became an artist in stained glass.

picture, Gertrude Demain Hammond, artist, painter, illustrator, Macbeth, Shakespeare

Lady Macbeth, as pictured by Gertrude Demain Hammond

She grew up in Lambeth and Newington, London, and studied at Lambeth School of Art. After winning a prize at the Royal Academy Schools in 1889, she became a full-time artist. Early books illustrated by Hammond include A Book of Poems and Pastorals (1892), From Whose Bourne by Robert Barr (1893). She then became chiefly an illustrator of books for girls published by Blackie & Sons, National Society’s Depository, Frederick Warne, Macmillan & Co. and others. She was also a watercolourist and was elected to the RI in 1896.

She married Henry George McMurdie (1860-1948) in London on 14 June 1898 and the couple lived at St. Paul’s Studios in Hammersmith, something of an artists’ colony where her neighbours included fellow artists Arthur D. May, Sir Philip Burne-Jones, George H. Sephton, Darent Harrison, Lilian Etherington, Herbert Sidney and Frederic de Haenen.

She continued to work as a prolific illustrator of books, including retellings of the story of British heroes, stories from Shakespeare and historical figures from Vikings to Joan of Arc. She continued to draw titles for children, including Munition Mary by Brenda Girvin (1918) and Dimsie Moves Up Again by Dorita Fairlie Bruce (1922), often credited under the abbreviated name G. Demain Harrison.

Gertrude Demain Hammond died in Worthing, Sussex, on 21 July 1952, aged 90.

Many more pictures by Gertrude Demain Hammond can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

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