Illustration Art Gallery

The very best from the wide, sometimes overlooked, world of illustration art, including original artwork for book illustrations and covers, comic books and comic strips, graphic novels, magazines, film animation cels, newspaper strips, poster art, album covers, plus superb fine art reproductions and high quality art prints.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bruce C. Windo

Bruce C. Windo is an artist who, until now, has resisted discovery. I seem to return to him every couple of years, whenever I spot a book cover or illustration from his pen. Inevitably, new information always seems to come in just too late.

Back in 2009, when I mentioned Windo on my Bear Alley blog, it was a four-line note, the only known information being that he was born in Kent in 1920. An update a year later added a little information but nothing further about his career. I can now add a little more.

Bruce Carrington Windo was born in Kent on 20 March 1920, his birth registered in Strood, although he was probably born in nearby Meopham where his father was the head schoolmaster at Meopham Primary School between 1902 and 1934. Percy Carrington Windo had been born in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, in 1871, and married Emily Martin in Bristol in 1895; Percy was a school master in Bath, Avon, but, as his family grew, moved to Singleton, Sussex, where he ran Bay School.

Soon after, Percy and his family moved to Meopham, near Gravesend, Kent, and lived at The School House. Emily died in 1906, at the early age of 39, and Percy married Gertrude Mabel Melling two years later, who had been an organist in Singleton when Percy and Emily were at Bay School.

Percy is said to have been "very talented at handicrafts and drawing and his pupils craftwork reached a high standard." He also served as Parish Clerk. He died in Eastbourne, Sussex, in 1955, aged 83; his wife, Gertrude, died in Eastbourne in 1968, aged 93.

Bruce Carrinton Windo presumably gained some of his artistic talents from his father. He was 19 when the Second World War began and, again presumably, would have served in some capacity. Thus his artistic career was delayed until after World War II. The earliest work I have been able to trace would appear to be a poster of a coach advertising Duple Motor Bodies Ltd., signed Carrington-Windo in familiar small capitals. I believe further poster. The syle was very similar to railway poster advertising of the period and, apparently, Windo went on to produce further posters for regional bus companies in the 1950s.

Windo was active as a book cover artist from at least 1947 when a number of covers signed 'Bruce' were published by Pan Books (including Graham Greene's Journey Without Maps, Osbert Sitwell's Alive-Alive Oh! and other stories and at least half a dozen others). 'Bruce' was active in 1947-49, possibly giving up to concentrate on the more lucrative advertising posters.

Examples of his books covers begin to appear again in late 1955 from Panther Books and Windo's covers appeared regularly from Pan Books in 1956-58 and from Arrow Books in 1957-58. His covers could also be seen on pocket libraries in that same era, including Famous Romance Library (1956-58) and Schoolgirls' Picture Library (1959).

Windo's illustrations appeared in Look and Learn magazine as early as 1965 and as late as 1969; he also produced illustrations for World of Wonder and World of Knowledge Annual.

Bruce Carrington-Windo married Peggy Joan Shepherd in 1Q 1948. They lived at various addresses around Eastbourne, Sussex. I can trace the following from telephone books of the area: Flat 2, Castle Mount, Carlisle Road [1951/52], 17 Park Avenue, Hampden Park [1954/59] and 4/13 Granville Road [1976/83].

In later years, the Carrinton-Windos lived in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, where Bruce died in 2006, aged 85; his wife died in 2008, aged 86.

Examples of Bruce Windo's artwork can be found for sale at the Illustration Art Gallery.

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