Photographs and papers of Gertrude Hermes

Scope and Content

The main part of the archive consists of over 200 photographs of Hermes and her sculpture, 1920-1990. These record her sculptures and architectural work, such as the fountain at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon, 1931. There are also photographs of Hermes at exhibitions, in her studio and with friends and a drawing by Hugh Cromyn of Hermes working on her sculpture 'Two in One', c.1937, which is in Leeds Museums & Galleries' sculpture collection (Acc. No. 2000.0016). Further material includes sixteen press cuttings, 1928-1999; over thirty exhibition catalogues and private view cards, 1932-1980; other printed material relating to Hermes, 1932-1997, including articles on her work and pamphlets associated with her sculptures; seven items of correspondence which include the discussion between Hermes and the Royal Academy about why women Academicians were not allowed to dine with the men, 1966; and notes on the sculptor made by her daughter, Judith Russell.

Administrative / Biographical History

Gertrude Hermes was born in Bickley, Kent in 1927. She was the daughter of Louis August Hermes (1866-1949, born in Germany) who was a textile dealer and the artistic director of Sambrook Whitting, who were manufacturers of patterned silkwear. Gertrude was married to the wood-engraver and print-maker, Blair Rowlands Hughes-Stanton (1902–1981) in 1926 but they later divorced in 1933. Hermes was an engraver, designer and sculptor of figures and portraits. She studied at Beckenham School of Art 1919-20 and with Leon Underwood 1922-26. During the 1920s and 1930s she worked as a wood-engraver and designer, and completed various commissions in Canada and the United States during the period of 1940 to 1945. Hermes also taught wood-engraving and animal drawing at the Central School of Art from 1948, as well as teaching at St. Martin’s School of Art, Camberwell School of Art and the Royal Academy schools. Hermes also made a series of portrait busts of writers.

Access Information

Available to all registered researchers. The Archive is open by appointment only.

Other Finding Aids

A finding aid is available for consultation in the HMI archive searchroom.

Archivist's Note

Archives Hub description was created by Katie Gilliland

Biographical information from 'Miss Gertrude Anna Bertha Hermes OBE', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [, accessed 7 Jan 2016]

Related Material

Related archives available at the Henry Moore Institute:

  • 2002.62: Research notes on Gertrude Hermes by David Brown

"Two in One", 1937-9; "Bust of the Reverand Conrad Noel", 1939 and Bust of Sir Michael Tippett", 1966 are all in the Leeds City Art Gallery collection.