Gertrude Anna Bertha Hermes (1901 – 1983) was a British wood engraver and sculptor. During the 1930s, Hermes was a member of the English Wood Engraving Society (1925–31) and showed his work at the Society of Wood Engravers, the Royal Academy, and The London Group.
Gertrude Anna Bertha Hermes was born in Bickley, Kent, on August 18, 1901. Louis August Hermes and Helene, née Gerdes, were from Altena, Germany, near Dortmund. She attended the Beckenham School of Art in around 1921. She then enrolled in Leon Underwood’s Brook Green School of Painting and Sculpture in 1922, where she met Eileen Agar, Raymond Coxon, Henry Moore, and Blair Hughes-Stanton, whom she later married in 1926. They divorced in 1933 after separating in 1931.
“Gertrude Hermes was a masterful sculptor who breathed life into stone and wood, creating forms that spoke of grace, strength, and the inherent beauty of the natural world.”
Hermes was a contributor to Joseph Bard’s Island (1931), which was a short-lived publication. She was also a Penguin Books commissioned illustrator.
Hermes began frequently exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1934, and in 1939, she participated in the Venice International Exhibition. Hermes completed a commission for the British Pavilion at the 1937 World Fair in Paris. From 1940 to 1945, she lived and worked in the United States and Canada. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, she taught wood engraving and lino cutting at the Central School of Art in London (now Central St Martin’s). She also went to London Zoo for a drawing class. Since 1966, she has taught wood and lino block printing at the Royal Academy Schools.
Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers
The Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers (RE) is a prestigious British society dedicated to promoting and supporting the art of printmaking. It was founded in 1880 and received its royal charter from Queen Victoria in 1888. The society’s main purpose is to advance the art of etching, engraving, and other forms of original printmaking.
The RE holds regular exhibitions to showcase the works of its members and other artists involved in printmaking. These exhibitions provide a platform for artists to display their skills and promote the medium of printmaking to a wider audience. The society also organizes various events, workshops, and lectures to encourage the exchange of ideas and knowledge among printmakers.
Membership in the RE is prestigious and highly sought after. Artists are elected as members through a rigorous selection process, based on the quality and originality of their printmaking work. The society supports its members by providing opportunities for exhibiting, networking, and engaging with the broader artistic community.
The Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers plays a significant role in the promotion and preservation of printmaking as a respected art form. It continues to inspire and support artists, ensuring the legacy of printmaking lives on.
Hermes was made a member of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers in 1949. In 1963, she was made an Associate of the Royal Academy, and in 1971, she was made a full Royal Academician. Her linocut Stonehenge won the first prize in the Giles Bequest competition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1961. In 1981, she was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE). Her work can be found in several public collections, including the Tate and the National Gallery.
- Spring bouquet, 1929, wood engraving
- Leda and the Swan, 1932, sculpture
- The warrior’s tomb, 1941, wood engraving
- Bat and Spider, 1932, wood engraving
- Other Cats and Henry, 1952, wood engraving
- Kathleen Raine, 1954, sculpture
- Peacock, 1961, bronze sculpture, for Ordsall High School in Salford
- 1967 Bronzes and Carvings, Drawings, Wood Engravings, Wood and Lino Block Cuts, 1924–1967 Whitechapel Art Gallery
- 2008 North House Gallery
- 2015 – 2016 Wild Girl: Gertrude Hermes The Hepworth Wakefield. First UK retrospective of Hermes’s work in 30 years.
Wikipedia contributors. (2021, May 30). Gertrude Hermes. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:42, September 22, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gertrude_Hermes&oldid=1025967934
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