Thomas Acland Fennemore, pottery, textile and wallpaper designer: papers

Scope and Content

Correspondence relating to appointments and consultancies (1924 - 1958); catalogues relating to Artists Aid China, Artists Aid Russia and the British and American Goodwill Exchange (ca. 1930s); files relating to exhibitions including Harrods China, Pottery and Glass Exhibition, 1934, the Paris Exposition Universelle, 1937, the Historical and British Wallpapers exhibition, 1945, the Women's Fair exhibition, 1949 (ca. 1932 - 1949); correspondence (1938 - 1947); work project files (1938 - 1949); lectures and notes (1938 - 1950); papers relating to the Society of Mural Painters (1939 - 1946); papers relating to the Central Institute of Art and Design (ca. 1940 - 1948); papers relating to the loan of works of art to the Royal Air Force (1940 - 1946); publications containing articles by T.A. Fennemore (1944 - 1953); papers relating to the Council of Industrial Design (1945 - 1948); papers relating to the Design and Industries Association (1947); designs for wallpapers (1950s); press cuttings (undated); typescript of an unfinished autobiography (undated).

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Acland Fennemore (1902 - 1959) worked in advertising from 1919 to 1926 with Samson Clarke & Co. and Peter Jones of London and with Edgar Lawley, China and Glass, in Stoke-on-Trent. From 1927 to 1929 he ran his own design company, Fennemore Haydon Ltd. In 1932 he became director of Brain & Co. Ltd, Foley China Works, Fenton and in 1934 arranged an exhibition of tableware by the company, held at Harrods. He was appointed registrar of the newly established National Register of Industrial Art Designers in 1936 and founded the Central Institute of Art and Design in 1940. From 1947 to 1953 Fennemore worked as a freelance designer of pottery, wallpaper and textiles for Antler Luggage, Bolton Leathers, Lawley Group potteries, Odhams Press, A. Sanderson & Sons Ltd and A.J. Wilkinson. In addition, he sold designs to Bradford Fabrics Ltd, Heal & Son Ltd, Horrockses' Fashions, John Lewis Partnership and Wilton Royal Carpet Factory Ltd. Fennemore was also the founder and vice-president of the Society of Mural Painters.

Access Information

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Study Rooms by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here:

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Enid Marian Fennemore, Henley-On-Thames, Oxfordshire, widow of Thomas Acland Fennemore, 1983.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

This archive consists primarily of paper materials. Some textile samples and photographic materials are also included.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here:

Related Material

Three ceramic items designed by Fennemore are held in the Department of Ceramics and Glass, V&A: C.263-1993, C.264-1993, C.265-1993.

Acquisition papers (RF 1983/1599 and RF 1993/1555) regarding Fennemore's ceramics donated to the museum by Enid Fennemore.

A 1940s Hardy Amies day dress worn by Enid Fennemore while accompanying her husband to various Cotton Board functions. Held in the Department of Textiles and Fashion, V&A: T.236-1984.

Acquisition papers (MA/1/F348) regarding the cotton dress donated to the V&A by Enid Fennemore are held in the V&A Archives.

A local file relating to the archive and it's acquisition is held in the Archive of Art and Design office.