Arthur Hackney Biography

Arthur Hackney




Arthur Hackney was born in 1925 in Stainforth, Yorkshire. The second of five brothers, including younger sibling artist Alfred Hackney, he left his family's poverty at age eleven to apprentice as a decorative pottery engraver at the Johnson Brothers firm. That same year, after submitting a drawing of a daffodil, he was accepted as a part-time student at Burlsem School of Art. Encouraged by his teacher, watercolorist Reginald C. Haggar, he applied and was accepted to the Royal College of Art in 1943, even managing to defer his war time draft for two weeks to take the entrance exam. In fact, it was while he was in Boston as a member of the HMS Cotton crew that he learned of his acceptance, though it would be another three years until he was able to begin his studies there.

He entered the engraving department, headed by celebrated printmaker Robert Austen. Hackney earned a scholarship to study in France and Italy for a year, and upon graduating in 1949 he took up a post as lecturer at West Surry College of Art and Design. There he would remain for the rest of his career, becoming head of the printmaking department and Deputy Head of Fine Arts, evetually helping to establish the photography department as well.

Hackney was a member of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers and the Royal Watercolour Society. His work can be found at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, London County Council, the art galleries of Bradford, Wakefield, Nottingham, Keighley, Sheffield and Preston and the City Art Gallery in the Potteries, as well as in the Art Gallery of Wellington in New Zealand.

Arthur Hackney died in Guildford, Surrey, in May of 2010.