BRIAN STONEHOUSE M.B.E. (1918-1998), Abbott and Holder, 30 Museum Street, London WC1, until 23rd December
This selling exhibition of forty works celebrates the recently published Brian Stonehouse: Artist, Soldier, War Hero, Fashion Illustrator (by Frederic A. Sharf with Michelle Finamore, Curator of Fashion Arts, Boston Museum of Fine Arts). The museum is where the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf collection of Brian Stonehouse works is housed.
Stonehouse, a young art student studying fashion illustration, joined the Royal Artillery at the beginning of the war but soon became a part of the Special Operations Executive (SOE). He was sent to France as a radio operator but three and a half months later was caught by the Gestapo, tortured, given a death sentence and then selected for slave labour He spent the subsequent war years in three French prisons and five concentration and labour camps, including Dachau. He still managed to continue to draw in some of the camps.
Whilst at the preparation for the War Crimes Tribunals he fortuitously met an American Major Harry Haller who encouraged him to come to the USA and there he did society portraits. Vogue’s fashion editor Jessica Daves liked his artistic style and as a result of this in 1952 he became the first new fashion illustrator the magazine had taken on since 1939. He remained with them until 1962.