Learning Index >> Pioneers and their practice: a reference guide

Calligraphy >> Heather Child (1911-1997)
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Heather Child
Heraldic badges of Henry VIII and Mary I
C.91.2
 
    

The heraldic calligrapher Heather Child was born in Winchester and educated there at St Swithin's School. At 17 she entered Chelsea School of Art where she was taught calligraphy by M.C. Oliver*; she was subsequently awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Art but was unable to take it up due to the onset of the Second World War. Instead, she served in the Red Cross. Returning to London after the War, she worked as a freelance scribe, undertaking commissions for city livery companies, St Paul's Cathedral, the Festival of Britain, museums and university libraries. She undertook roles in the Society of Scribes and Illuminators, including Librarian (1949), Hon. Secretary (1951-4) and Chairman (1964-7, and 1971), was a Brother of the Art Workers' Guild (elected 1968) and appointed MBE in 1974.

Heather Child produced notable books, writing Decorative Maps (1956) and Heraldic Design (1965), and illustrating the Collins Pocket Guide to Wild Flowers (1956). In addition, she edited Edward Johnston's papers (Formal Penmanship, 1971, and Lessons in Formal Penmanship, 1986) and co-wrote the monograph on Irene Wellington: More than fine writing (1986). In 1977 she moved to Petersfield, Hampshire, and continued actively to support calligraphy and the crafts by serving on many committees.

*Denotes included in the Crafts Study Centre Collection.

 

 

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