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John Edgar Platt

The Prints



Chronology of John Platt's Life


1886 - 1905

Born 19th March in Leek, Staffordshire, the elder son of John Henry Platt and his wife Elizabeth (nee Taylor). John Henry Platt owned the George Hotel in Leek. John Edgar (known to the family as Edgar) had two sisters, Marian and Kathleen and a brother, Sydney, who trained as an engineer and was involved in the building of a bridge over the River Ganges in India.

Platt was educated at the High School, Newcastle and studied briefly at Margate Art School when recuperating from a minor accident. He intended to pursue a career as an engineer at Manchester University but was encouraged to transfer to architecture by a tutor who recognised the quality of his drawing.


1903 - 1905


Decided to change his career to art. His parents responded to the decision positively and offered financial support until he could manage on his own. He received a preliminary art education at Newcastle, Margate and Leek Schools of Art.


1905 - 1910


Awarded a scholarship in 1905 to study at the Royal College of Art, London. He received prizes in Design, Painting, Architecture and Modelling. He also studied various crafts including mural painting, stained glass, poster and book production, tapestry design, metalwork and jewellry, lettering and illuminating, woodcarving and architectural woodwork.




Awarded Associate of The Royal College of Art in Design.




Awarded Full Associate of The Royal College of Art. ARCA.

Awarded Fellowship of the National Society of Art Masters.


1910 - 1919


Principal Leek College of Art.




Married Phyllis Harvey-George 24th June. She had also been a scholar at the R.C.A.




Daughter Anthea born 31st July.


c. 1913 - 1916


Commission for decorations for the Lady Chapel at All Saints Church, Leek, stained glass windows, (Miriam, Esther, Ruth), painted decoration, (The Expulsion from Eden, The Promise to Noah), painted panelling and ceiling, painted organ case, (Raventius Fortunatus).




Commission for a design for a gold medal for the Leek and Moorlands Co-operative Society. Other commercial commissions around this time included a cup in gilding metal, silver and enamel and silver chain.




Son Michael born 29th September. He was also to become an artist and a scholar at the R.C.A.


1914 - 1918


War service, commission R.A.S.C., (Motor Transport)


1919 - 1920


Principal Harrogate School of Art.




(May-October) Principal School of Art, Derby.


1920 - 1923


Head of Department of Applied Art, Edinburgh College of Art (Part-time appointment).




Designed poster for London Underground Electric Railway Co., FOR THE ZOO, Alight at Camden Town or Regents Park Station. More information on the poster - and an image - can be seen here.


1923 - 1929


Principal Leicester College of Art.




Commission for The City Libraries Bookplate (Leicester)




Member of the Society of Graver-Printers in Colour.


1929 - 1939


Principal Blackheath School of Art, London. A part-time appointment to enable him to continue with his own work.




Published a series of articles in THE ARTIST magazine, March to September.




Isaac Pitman's published his handbook, Colour Woodcuts; a book of reproductions and a handbook of method. (Note: The entire text of Mr. Platt's book is on-line for you to read here.)


1938 - 1953


President of the Society of Graver-Printers in Colour. He put great effort into reviving the Society after the war and contributed prints to a major exhibition held by the Society at Kensington Art Gallery in 1947, 'Fifty Years of the Colour Print'.




Moved to Swan Studios, Deodar Road, Putney, London.


1943 - 1945


Official war artist to Ministry of War Transport with numerous commissions.




His wife, Phyllis, died unexpectedly and Platt's own health deteriorated. He eventually moved to Eastbourne to live with his daughter Anthea. Very little work was accomplished after 1950.




Died April 29th at Eastbourne.

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