Auction of the A. E. Halliwell Studio Collection of Original Artwork - 11th April 2022


In the kaleidoscopic world of '20s and '30s commercial art and design, the name Albert Edward (A.E.) Halliwell is little more than a footnote.  Despite working for blue chip businesses on some of the most prestigious campaigns of the day, as well as teaching hundreds of students in his lifetime, very little is known of the Southport-born artist.  As with many designers whose work has often remained unattributed, he has never received the recognition he deserves.  


But all that is set to change when more than 300 of his posters go under the hammer in April. The range of designs demonstrate his mastery of colour, typography and design, which variously embrace Art Deco, Modernism and the Bauhaus movement.

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A. E. Halliwell was born in Southport in 1905, attending its art school from 1923 to 1926 before graduating to the Royal College of Art in London and subsequently practising as a professional designer from the 1930s.

While working on commercial commissions, Halliwell taught part-time at Bromley and Beckenham Schools of Art in the late 1930s. In 1938, he was appointed to a full-time post at Camberwell School of Art and Central School of Art and Design, where he established its first course teaching Industrial Design.

His educational ideas, like his artistic ones, had their roots in the Bauhaus movement, mirroring the academic zeitgeist of the day, seen in Herbert Read’s 1934 book Art and Industry, which informed design courses in the UK until the 1960s. His teaching career was completed at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in Camden, where he took up a post in 1948, remaining there until 1970. 

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Commercial success

Running parallel with his teaching career he developed a successful commercial career with clients including London Underground, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club, Cable & Wireless, Kelloggs, Bryant & May, national railway companies, the British Industry Fair, Boots the Chemist, London Zoo and, remembering his roots, Southport Flower Show, Southport Water Carnival and the town's art school where he studied. 



He also contributed to the material for the wartime Home Front and its Dig for Victory campaign.  From the '20s to the '40s, Halliwell's style reflected the prevalent design of the period.  With early incarnations made up of intricate paintings and rows of text, his posters became increasingly bold, simple and stylised. 

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More than 300 of A. E. Halliwell's designs, mainly in gouache, go under the hammer here at The Canterbury Auction Galleries in our April 2022 sale, along with artworks by both his wife Doris and some of his design students.  

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The catalogue is now available to view on line, please go the 'Next Sale' section of the website. 

The Collection will be available for public viewing here at the saleroom BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, on the following dates:

Monday 4th April - 10am to 4pm

Tuesday 5th April - 10am to 4pm

Wednesday 6th April  - 10am to 4pm

Thursday 7th April -  10am to 7pm

Friday 8th April -  10am to 4pm

The Collection will be on sale on Monday 11th April 2022, starting at 1000am. 



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