Canadian born, Cooper trained and practised in Britain. He studied at the Cardiff School of Art from the age of thirteen, before winning a scholarship to the Allan-Frazer Art College, Arbroath from 1906 until 1910. In 1910 he moved to London, studying in the evenings at the City and Guilds School. He returned to Canada as a commercial artist, although this was interrupted by war service in Europe.He settled in London in 1922, and received the first of many poster commissions from London Underground. Over the next two decades he established as reputation as a top poster designer. After the 1920s his work became increasingly pictorial, and he produced work for the London Underground, the Empire Marketing Board, and the LNER. He was the first Principal of the Reimann School of Commercial and Industrial Art from 1936 to 40, turning from his career as a poster artist in 1943 to become a full time painter. One of his last poster designs would then have been the ‘Make your money provide the driving power’ campaign for the Post Office in 1943.
Information taken from: ‘Cooper, Austin’, Poster Database, London Transport Museum; Livingston, A, and Livingston, I.,Dictionary of Graphic Design and Designers, 1992, p.48; ‘G.P.O. Follows up Appeal to Public’, Advertiser’s Weekly, August 26 1943, p.264.
Related texts: Cooper, A. Making a Poster, 1938
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