R. P. Gossop, commercial artist and agent: papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

These archives have been organized into the following sub-fonds: R. P. Gossop personal papers; R. P. Gossop commercial papers; R. P. Gossop reserach papers; Bronson Sherwood's R. P. Gossop papers; R. P. Gossop's associates' papers; Jessie Gossop's papers.

Album of press cuttings (1890 - 1951); drawings (1892 - 1944); sketchbooks (1895 - 1930); albums of greeting cards by R.P. Gossop, his clients and his associates (1895 - 1952); albums of proofs for Geo. Newnes (1896 - 1902); medals (1897 - ca. 1937); wallpaper designs (ca. 1898); portfolio including articles, correspondence, graphic designs, illustrations and lecture papers (1898 - 1950); papers relating to Jessie Gossop (ca. 1899 - ca. 1912); commercial drawings, illustrations, photographs, press cuttings and publications containing work by clients and associates including Hanslip Fletcher, Ambrose Heal, Henry Ospovat and E. J. Sullivan (ca. 1899 - 1940); cards designed by R.P. Gossop, his clients and his associates (1899 - 1992); correspondence with R.P. Gossop and Bronson Sherwood (1905 - 1990); diary (ca. 1907 - 1945); press cuttings (1910 - 1992); photographs (ca. 1911 - ca. 1945); publications including R.P. Gossop illustrations (1912 - 1949); photograph albums (1914 - 1929); posters including commissions for Heal & Son Ltd and London Transport (ca. 1923 - 1937); cashbook (1923 - 1936); bookplate designs (undated).

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Percy Gossop (1876 - 1951) was apprenticed in 1892 as a wallpaper and fabric designer in London. Whilst undertaking his apprenticeship he attended art classes at colleges including Birkbeck College and Hammersmith School of Art. From 1896 to 1902 he worked as a designer and freelance illustrator. In 1902 he married Jessie Dora Meech, with whom he had a daughter, Sylvia Mary Bronson (later Bronson Sherwood) in 1907. From 1902 until 1904 he worked as studio manager for the printers Eyre and Spottiswood and from 1904 in the same capacity for W. H. Smith. At W. H. Smith he worked with a number of significant artists, including Henry Ospovat, and designed Smith's famous lozenge shaped logo. In 1913, following a visit to America, Gossop became the first art editor for British Vogue. In 1914 he became art adviser to Dobson Molle and Co., an Edinburgh firm of printers. From 1916 until the end of the First World War he worked at the Ministry of Information, helping with the distribution of propaganda. At the end of the war he became joint manager at Carlton Studio.

In 1923, partly to help his friend Edmund J. Sullivan, Gossop set up his own firm of artists' agents, R.P. Gossop Ltd. His clients included Hanslip Fletcher and Eric Fraser. At the same time he continued to work as a freelance designer and illustrator, with commissions including designs for the Empire Marketing Board, Heal & Son Ltd and London Transport. In 1926 he co-founded the Society of Industrial Artists with Milner Gray. He also served on the Council of the Design and Industries Association. In 1937 he delivered the Dent Memorial Lecture, on book illustration, and from 1938 worked as a lecturer at the City of London College. His daughter joined him as office manager for R.P. Gossop Ltd in 1925 and after his death in 1951 she continued to run the business.

Arrangement

These archives have been organized into the following sub-fonds: R. P. Gossop personal papers; R. P. Gossop commercial papers; R. P. Gossop reserach papers; Bronson Sherwood's R. P. Gossop papers; R. P. Gossop's associates' papers; Jessie Gossop's papers.

Conditions Governing Access

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/archives/.

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

Acquisition Information

Bequest of Bronson Sherwood, 1998.

Other Finding Aids

This online catalogue is a complete description of the archive to file level. A summary description is also included on the National Art Library computer catalogue, and in the published Guide to the Archive of Art and Design

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/archives/.

Related Material

See also at the AAD: Heal and Son Holdings plc, bedding and furniture manufacturer and retailer, posters (AAD/1986/1). R.P. Gossop undertook commissions for Heal & Son Ltd.

Bibliography

Gossop., R.P. Advertisement design. London: Chapman and Hall, Ltd, 1937. xxxiii, 253 p. ill.

Gossop, R.P. Book illustration: a review of the art as it is today - the 7th Dent Memorial Lecture delivered at the London School of Printing on 1st October 1937. London: J.M. Dent, 1937. 45 p.