Gerry Fancett: Romantic Illustrations

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Before I bring on the beautiful images, I should tell you I’ve really struggled to find any information on Gerry Fancett. I just can’t believe that an artist, a fantastic illustrator, who was so prolific and created such beautiful images can disappear from the public consciousness with half a century.

Gerry Fancett - 'From This Day Forward' 1955
Gerry Fancett - 'From This Day Forward' 1955

It seems a little strange to begin with a picture from Christmas, especially in the midst of an Indian Summer (thanks, by the way, to the tweeps who led me to the meaning of this phrase!), but this picture shows so much about public perception of family life in the 1950s. It is such a stereotypical picture: the perfect children and stylish parents. I particularly like the matching grey shoes and hair of the mother.

Gerry Fancett, 'Enchanced Hour' 1954
Gerry Fancett, 'Enchanced Hour' 1954

The Christmas theme continues… Perhaps I should have saved these pictures until nearer the time! Well, if the shops can start putting out their Christmas stock now, then I can do the blog equivalent. Love ‘Prue’s’ jewellery and the way the two men are looking at her rather than the tree.

Gerry Fancett, 'An Exile in Soho' 1953
Gerry Fancett, 'An Exile in Soho' 1953

Some of the pictures aren’t as brightly coloured in the magazines, presumably it was more expensive to use more colours. I’m not as keen on this particular picture, but I do like the use of pink and white. This picture is much more to my liking:

Gerry Fancett, 'For Love' 1951
Gerry Fancett, 'For Love' 1951

There’s something about the faces that I don’t like here though; I don’t think the girl’s facial features are in proportion somehow. The woman in ‘An Exile in Soho’ doesn’t look right either. Thankfully, some of the other pictures are much better.

This picture I’ve featured before:

Gerry Fancett, 'Hat With Seven Roses' 1952
Gerry Fancett, 'Hat With Seven Roses' 1952

It still makes me smile to look at this one: it really does seem as if he’s about to conk her over the head with what looks like a policeman’s baton. I think it’s actually an umbrella.

My final two pictures are my favourites.

Gerry Fancett, 'Don't Let It End This Way' 1952
Gerry Fancett, 'Don't Let It End This Way' 1952

It’s the story behind this one that captures me; the romance of it. You can see in the woman’s eyes that she loves this man, yet something is troubling her. Perhaps it’s the last time they can see each other?

Gerry Fancett, 'Beautiful Stranger' 1956
Gerry Fancett, 'Beautiful Stranger' 1956

I adore this picture. My eyes are captivated by her stunning dress, the rosy pinkness and sparkles cascading down the front. One day, I will find the occasion where I can wear a dress like that.

All I’ve managed to find about Fancett is that he worked at Grestock & Marsh in the mid ’60s, thanks to a page on a colleague of his Frank Haseler. Today’s Inspiration also has some information and artwork on some more of his colleagues here. It would be good to find out some more about Fancett, but like so many of these illustrators, it seems that time has not been a great preserver.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. JOHN PETER BRITTON says:

    I remember Gerry Fancett he was a nice man loved seeing his artwork when he bought it up to the office.

    1. littleowlski says:

      That’s amazing that you knew him! And that you managed to find my blog. Are you an artist yourself? If so, would love to see some of your work. Emma

      1. JOHN PETER BRITTON says:

        YES I KNEW GERRY FOR A LONG TIME. YOU CAN SEE SOME OF MY ART ON FACEBOOK EMMA, JUST TYPE MY NAME JOHN PETER BRITTON.

  2. Rick Fancett says:

    I too knew Gerry for a long time – and still do – he is my father !!

    Gerry is still around – and would no doubt be thrilled to hear from any of the other illustrators

    I recently stumbled across a copy of “Todays Inspiration” 60’s and was utterly amazed to find so many of his wonderful illustrations featured

    I have recently amassed many of his works from the 50’s through to the late 60’s – created my own collection into a coffee table book! I doubt that it be for public viewing – but went down well with many of his friends and family and emphasised just how good an illustrator he is and that his art evoked the era of the 50/60s

    In addition to his UK illustrations for magazines etc – some may recall his stunning work for Lord Extra – which adorned billboards and cigarette packets all over Germany for 20 years.
    The style was unique.

    Gerry is – understandably technophobic ! so has never handled a computer and hence has no email address –

    If anyone would like to catch up after all these years – please feel free to contact him through myself Rick Fancett at richard.fancett@btinternet.com

    It is great to see that he is appreciated!

    1. littleowlski says:

      He definitely is appreciated and it’s wonderful that you’ve found my site. Please do pass on my regards to your father. I adore illustrations from this era, and his pictures are some of those that I particularly look out for. Thank you for getting in touch, I really appreciate it. Emma

  3. JOHN PETER BRITTON says:

    I knew Gery from years ago he is a great artist.

  4. Pauline Nicoll says:

    I remember seeing his illustrations in magazines and have for the past few years trying to get the connection between your father and my dad. I know there where related (lost my dad 4 years ago). I was just a child when I saw the illustrations but my dad always pointed them out and said who he was. I am doing the family tree but always bare his name in my mind on the hope I can find something. My father was Eric Randall Norman

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