Dorrit Dekk

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dorrit Dekk
Born (1917-05-18)18 May 1917
Brno, Czechoslovakia
Died 29 December 2014(2014-12-29) (aged 97)
Nationality Czech-born British
Education
Known for Graphic design

Dorrit Dekk, born Dorothy Karoline Fuhrmann, (18 May 1917 – 29 December 2014) was a Czech-born British graphic designer, printmaker and painter.

Early life[edit]

Dekk was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia[1] and trained at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna from 1936-1938. There she was taught by the stage designer Otto Niedermoser and contributed to designs for the theatre and for film director Max Reinhardt.[2] Following the Anschluss in 1938, Dekk escaped to London, where she took up a place at the Reimann School through a scholarship arranged by Niedermoser and specialised in graphic design.

Career[edit]

Join the Mobile Labour Force (Art.IWM PST13971)

Following the closure of the Reimann School in 1939, Dekk joined the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) and became a 'listener', taking down coded messages by hand which were then sent to Bletchley Park for deciphering.[3] At the end of the war, she joined the design studio of what was to become the Central Office of Information, working under Reginald Mount. During her two and a half years, she designed numerous government posters, including the iconic Ministry of Health's poster Trap the Germs in Your Handkerchief.[4] Dekk also designed posters for the Ministry of Works post-war re-building programme and for the Polish Resettlement Corps.[5]

Dekk left the Central Office of Information in 1948 to spend a year in Cape Town, where she worked as a stage designer and illustrator.[6] Dekk returned to London in 1950 and established herself as a freelance designer. Her clients included Air France, the Orient Shipping Line (latterly P&O Orient Line), the Post Office Savings Bank, Trust House Forte, Penguin, The Tatler and London Transport. She also worked as a designer for the Travelling Section of the Festival of Britain, creating the mural 'British Sports and Games'.[7] In 1956, she became a Fellow of the Society of Industrial Artists.[4]

She retired from her graphic design practice in 1982, but continued to work as a painter and printmaker right up until her death in December 2014.[1]

Personal life[edit]

In 1940, she married Leonard Klatzow, a South African physicist. He had a key role in the invention of the cathode-ray tube and infrared night vision for the navy. He died in 1942, following a plane crash.[1] In 1968, she married Kurt Epstein and they remained together until his death in 1990.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Games, Naomi (7 January 2015). "Dorrit Dekk obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Artmonsky, 93
  3. ^ Artmonsky, 95.
  4. ^ a b Artmonsky, 96.
  5. ^ Richard Slocombe (2014). British Posters of the Second World War. Imperial War Museum. ISBN 978-1-904897-92-7. 
  6. ^ David Buckman (1998). Artists in Britain Since 1945 Vol 1, A to L. Art Dictionaries Ltd. ISBN 0 95326 095 X. 
  7. ^ 'Dorrit Dekk' on the London Transport Museum's website. Date accessed: 4 February 2014.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]