Kennington, Eric Henri

Date: 1888-1960

Eric Henri Kennington was a sculptor, artist, illustrator and an official war artist in both World Wars. Kennington was educated at St Paul’s School and the Lambeth School of Art.

During the First World War, Kennington fought with the Artists’ Rifles and soldiered together with William Rothenstein in France, before being invalided back to the UK. As one of the first war artists, Kennington was not given a salary.

Kennington turned to sculpture in the 1920s, and some of his public sculptural commissions include relief panels for the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, and a stone relief for the University of Liverpool. In 1936, Kennington carved his masterpiece: an effigy of his friend, T.E. Lawrence.

During the Second World War, Kennington worked with the Home Office to provide camouflage schemes for important public buildings. He also produced pastel artworks for the Royal Navy, painted Admiral of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound and other sailors in the Navy.

In 1952 he was elected to the Royal Academy as an Associate, before becoming a full Academician in 1959.

The University of Reading Art Collection holds three artworks by Eric Henri Kennington.

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