It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Ronald Searle last week.
Considered by some to be Britain’s greatest graphic artist, he is today perhaps best-known for his cartoons, but his work spanned both the frivolous and the tragic. Imprisoned by the Japanese in Malaya, he used his immense talent to record the daily life of the prison camp surroundings. In later life he wrote “I desperately wanted to put down what was happening, because I thought if by any chance there was a record, even if I died, someone might find it and know what went on.”
Some ten years after beginning the St Trinian’s series in 1948 with “Hurrah for St Trinian’s”, he was listed as a member in the SGFA* catalogue of the 1958 Annual Exhibition, together with Dame Laura Knight and Ronald Maddox (who is still an Honorary Member and exhibits regularly with the Society).
*At that date the Society was still known by the name ‘The Society of Graphic Art’, not adopting the current name until 1988.