Gertrude Hermes

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Gertrude Hermes
Gertrude Anna Bertha Hermes

(1901-08-18)18 August 1901
Bickley, Kent, England
Died9 May 1983(1983-05-09) (aged 81)
Bristol, England
EducationLeon Underwood
Known forWood-engraving
Spouse(s)Blair Hughes-Stanton

Gertrude Anna Bertha Hermes OBE RA (18 August 1901 – 9 May 1983) was an English wood-engraver and sculptor.


Gertrude Anna Bertha Hermes was born on 18 August 1901 in Bickley, Kent. Her parents, Louis August Hermes and Helene, née Gerdes, were from Altena, near Dortmund, Germany.[1] In about 1921 she attended the Beckenham School of Art, and in 1922 enrolled at Leon Underwood's Brook Green School of Painting and Sculpture, where other students included Eileen Agar, Raymond Coxon, Henry Moore and Blair Hughes-Stanton, whom she married in 1926;[2][3] they separated in 1931, and were divorced in 1933.[1]

Bronze sculpture of Conrad Noel created by Hermes

Hermes exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy from 1934, and showed at the Venice International Exhibition in 1939. In 1937 Hermes produced a commission for the British Pavilion at the Paris World Fair.[4] She worked in Canada from 1940 to 1945. She taught wood engraving and linocutting at the Central School of Art in London (now Central St Martin's) in the late 1940s to early '50s. She also took a drawing class to London Zoo. She taught wood and lino block printing at the Royal Academy Schools, from 1966.[5]

She was elected Associate of the Royal Academy in 1963, a full Royal Academician in 1971 and was appointed an OBE in 1981.[6]

Her work is in many public collections including the Tate,[7] and the National Portrait Gallery. Her work was also in private collections including a c1926 bronze "Swallow" door knocker in the collection of David Bowie.[8]


  • 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[9]


  • 1967 Bronzes and Carvings, Drawings, Wood Engravings, Wood and Lino Block Cuts, 1924–1967 Whitechapel Art Gallery
  • 2008 North House Gallery[6]


  1. ^ a b James Hamilton (2004). Hermes, Gertrude Anna Bertha (1901–1983). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved January 2014. (subscription required)
  2. ^ "British Council − Art Collection − Collection". Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  3. ^ The wood engravings of Gertrude Hermes and Blair Hughes-Stanton. Oxford: Ashmolean Museum. 1995. pp. 11–12. ISBN 978-1-85444-064-8. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  4. ^ Katy Deepwell. Ten Decades: Careers of Ten Women Artists Born 1897–1906. Norwich Gallery. ISBN 1872482058. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Gertrude Hermes". IFPDA. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  6. ^ a b "GERTRUDE HERMES at the North House Gallery | art exhibitions". 23 February 2008. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  7. ^ "Tate Collection | Gertrude Hermes". Tate Etc. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Hermes bronze swallow door knocker at David Bowie auction". SalvoNEWS. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  9. ^ Miss Gertrude Anna Bertha Hermes OBE. Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851–1951. University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011. Retrieved January 2014.

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