Casson, Hugh, 1910-1999

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President, Royal Academy.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : London, to Charles Ryskamp, [ca. 1979]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270133485

d. August 15, 1999.

From the description of Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122345542

Epithet: architect

Title: Knight

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001149.0x000222

Hugh Maxwell Casson (1910 - 1999) was born in London. He spent the first few years of his life in Burma, where his father was posted with the Indian Civil Service, before being sent back to England to attend school and live with relatives. He studied architecture at Cambridge University from 1929 to 1932, and at the Bartlett School of Architecture from 1933 to 1934, where he met his future wife Margaret Troup, who was also an architect and designer. In 1935 he became a junior partner of Christopher 'Kit' Nicholson and worked with the architect on projects such as the London Gliding Club at Dunstable and the surrealist redecoration of Monkton House for Edward James.

Casson was also a prolific journalist: in 1937 he became the architectural correspondent for the short lived Day and Night magazine, and his articles, which he often illustrated, were regularly published in the Architect's Journal and the Architectural Review , to which he was also advisory editor.

During the Second World War he was employed by the Camouflage Service of the Air Ministry as a camouflage designer. After Kit Nicholson's death in a gliding accident in 1948, Casson began a working partnership with Neville Conder, the younger architect with whom he was to create the Casson Conder Partnership. In the same year Casson was appointed Director of Architecture for the 1951 Festival of Britain. Over the next three years he designed the overall site plan for the South Bank exhibition and co-ordinated the work of a large number of architects and artists who worked together to create an eclectic group of pavilions and structures on the site. In 1952 Casson was knighted for his achievements at the Festival of Britain.

In the following decades the Casson Conder Partnership's commissions included: the Arts Faculty for the Sidgwick site at Cambridge University, 1952; the Elephant and Rhino Pavilion at London Zoo, 1965; and the Ismaili Centre, South Kensington, 1981. Casson also worked on a number of private commissions that included: the interior design of the yacht Camanda for Whitney Straight, 1967, the Royal Yacht Britannia and various rooms at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle for the Royal Family. He designed stage sets for theatre and opera productions, including Alceste in 1953 and La Fedelta Premiata in 1979 for Glyndebourne Festival Opera.

He was Professor of Environmental Design at the Royal College of Art from 1953 to 1975, and in 1976 he was elected President of the Royal Academy of Arts. Casson was also a watercolour painter and an avid sketcher, and published a number of books, including Diary (1981) and Hugh Casson's London (1983). He sat on many committees and continued to be active in the fields of conservation, planning, and the arts until his death.

From the guide to the Sir Hugh Casson, architect, designer, illustrator and journalist: papers, 1867-2007, (Victoria and Albert Museum: Archive of Art and Design)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Hugh Maxwell Casson : vertical file. Centre canadien d'architecture, | Canadian Centre for Architecture | CCA
creatorOf Alan Fluck collection. Correspondence. Addison-Gardner, 1952-1989 British Library
creatorOf MARGARET GARDINER PAPERS. Vol. II (ff. 204). Correspondence and papers; 1966. 1. ff. 1-106. Labour voters' protest on Vietnam; April 1966. 2. ff. 107-204. Protest meeting at Jeanetta Cochrane Theatre; July 1966.includes:ff. 2, 198 Sir Alfred Jules ..., 1966 British Library
referencedIn SIR HUGH CASSON: papers relating to his memorial service, etc.; [date]. Including the script of a talk by Dame Sybil Thorndike on her friendship with Ellen Terry. Presented by John Carroll, Esq., M.B.E. British Library
creatorOf Casson, Hugh Maxwell, Sir, 1910-1999. Autograph letter signed : London, to Charles Ryskamp, [ca. 1979]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Casson, Sir Hugh, 1910-1999 : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
referencedIn Letters and papers of British artists, 1774-1964. Getty Research Library
creatorOf Betjeman, John, 1906-1984. John Betjeman fonds. [1913-1986]. University of Victoria Libraries, UVic
referencedIn Sir Alec Guinness Archive, 1914-2003 British Library: Western Manuscripts
creatorOf Sir Hugh Casson, architect, designer, illustrator and journalist: papers, 1867-2007 Victoria and Albert Museum : Archive of Art and Design
referencedIn Scrapbooks, press cuttings books, artworks and photographs of the painter and print-maker Julian Otto Trevelyan (1910-1988), 1929-1988 Tate Gallery Archive
creatorOf Casson, Hugh, 1910-1999. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Abram Games person
associatedWith Alec Gibbson person
associatedWith Alec Gibson person
associatedWith Ben Nicholson person
associatedWith Beresford Evans person
associatedWith Betjeman, John, 1906-1984. person
associatedWith Carola Zogolovitch person
associatedWith Casson Conder Partnership. corporateBody
associatedWith Christopher Ironside person
associatedWith Christopher Nicholson person
associatedWith Colquhoun, Miller & Partners corporateBody
associatedWith F. Brennan person
associatedWith Freeman, Fox & Partners corporateBody
associatedWith Geoffrey Clarke person
correspondedWith Guinness, Sir, Alec, 1914-2000 person
associatedWith Henry Moore person
associatedWith H. E. Stutchbury person
associatedWith H. T. Cadbury-Brown person
associatedWith H.T. Cadbury-Brown & Partners corporateBody
associatedWith James Cubit & Partners corporateBody
associatedWith James Cubitt & Partners corporateBody
associatedWith James Gardner person
associatedWith John Piper person
associatedWith John Stefandis Ltd corporateBody
associatedWith Jose Aldover person
associatedWith Joyce Conwy-Evans person
associatedWith Leonard Manasseh person
associatedWith Leslie Gooday person
associatedWith Michael Hopkins & Partners corporateBody
associatedWith Michael Rosenauer person
associatedWith Misha Black person
associatedWith M. Lancaster person
associatedWith Neville Ward person
associatedWith Peter Shepheard person
associatedWith Powell and Moya corporateBody
associatedWith R. D. Russell person
associatedWith Richard Huws person
associatedWith Robert Goodden person
associatedWith Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall & Partners corporateBody
associatedWith Robin Day person
associatedWith Ronald Ward and Partners corporateBody
associatedWith R. Y. Goodden person
associatedWith Ryskamp, Charles, person
associatedWith Salvador Dali person
associatedWith Siegfried Charoux person
associatedWith Trevelyan, Julian Otto., 1910-1988 person
associatedWith Walter Graebner person
associatedWith Warnett Kennedy person
associatedWith Whitney Straight person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Architectural design--History--20th century
Architecture--Designs and plans
Architecture--Great Britain--History--20th century
Architectural Drawings


Birth 1910-05-23

Death 1999-08-15




Ark ID: w65h89r5

SNAC ID: 12202221