Jan Le Witt (b.1907; d.1991)

Born in Czestochowa, Poland, Jan Le Witt was self taught and experimented with thirteen professions before becoming a freelance artist in 1927. He belonged to a small group of avant-garde artists and had his first one-man exhibition of graphic work at the Society of Fine Arts, Warsaw, in 1930. In 1933 he met George Him and moved to London in 1937. Under the name Lewitt-Him, both worked for the MOI in the Second World War. Le Witt married Alina Prusicka in 1939, with whom he had one son, and became a British citizen in 1947. The partnership with Him dissolved in 1954, after which Le Witt abandoned graphic design for painting. A monograph on his work was published in 1971.

Sadler’s Wells Company benefited from Le Witt’s theatre d├ęcor, and Le Witt also designed for Venetian glass and Aubusson tapestries. In 1947 and 1953, one-man exhibitions of his paintings were held at the Zwemmer Gallery, London and in 1951 at the Hanover Gallery, also in London. His work was also shown at the Galleria San Marco, Rome, 1952, the AAA Gallery, New York, 1954, the Galleria Apollinaire, Milan, 1957, and the various exhibitions of AGI. He exhibited at the Tate Gallery, 1950 and 1952, and at the Premio Lissone, 1955. He was awarded a gold medal at the Triennale in 1954 and was an honorary member of the Centro Internazionale dell’Arte del Vetro.

Information taken from: Darracott, J. and Loftus, B., Second World War Posters, 1981 (1972), p.44, Amstutz, W., Who’s Who in Graphic Art, 1962, p.249, London Transport Museum Database, February 2000

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Second World War Posters

Mass Communications Academic, @MMUBS. British Home Front Propaganda posters as researched for a PhD completed 2004. In 1997, unwittingly wrote the first history of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, which she now follows with interest.

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