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918rexwhistlerAN12636718pgs-146147-HILL-Sitem1.rendition.slideshowVertical.rex-whistler-exhibition-2NPG x40681; Rex Whistler; Gerald Tyrwhitt-Wilson, 14th Baron Berners; Oliver Hilary Sambourne Messel; Cecil Beaton by Cecil Beatonpreview_Fitzroystudio

Reginald John “Rex” Whistler (24 June 1905 – 18 July 1944) was a British artist, designer and illustrator.

Biography

Reginald John Whistler was born in Britain on 24 June 1905, at Eltham, Kent, the son of Harry and Helen Frances Mary Whistler. In May 1919 he was sent to boarding school at Haileybury, where he showed a precocious talent for art, providing set designs for play productions and giving away sketches to prefects in lieu of “dates” (a punishment at Haileybury, similar to “lines” whereby offenders are required to write out set lists of historical dates).

After Haileybury the young Whistler was accepted at the Royal Academy, but disliked the regime there and was “sacked for incompetence”. He then proceeded to study at the Slade School of Art, where he met Stephen Tennant, soon to become one of his best friends and a model for some of the figures in his…

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