Playing card with painting of the Jack Olding Co buildingArtists

This is just a sample of some of the famous artists known to have Hatfield connections or whose work is somehow associated with the town.


Frank Wootton – official RAF artist during WWII. While attached to the de Havilland factory in Hatfield he flew with Geoffrey de Havilland junior in the Mosquito. He also painted a mural on the wall of the staff canteen during his stay. Post-war, flew with John Cunningham during the flight tests of the Comet jet airliner. First President of the Guild of Aviation Artists (GAvA).


Terence Cuneo – best known as a railway and military painter, he also painted a portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Edward Heath. Early in his career, he did illustrations for books and magazine advertising. He created artworks for Hatfield-based companies – de Havillands and Jack Oldings (the picture shows a painting of the company building – thought to be one of Cuneo's). He also met Frank Wootton at Hatfield.


Roy Cross – currently one of the top marine painting artists in the States. Better known and loved in England as the creator of the artwork for many Airfix kits. Visited the Hatfield airfield as a child (when visiting his aunt and cousins who lived in Smallford), and later as an adult during his time as an illustrator with Flight and other aviation publications.

Click here to go to the Roy Cross feature  



Mads Stage – famous Danish watercolour artist. Painted Hatfield House, and many other English landmarks (a print can be seen on the wall in the Eight Bells pub).


Beatrix Potter – better known as a children's author and illustrator,  Lived at Camfield Place in Hatfield (Rural District) and is thought to have created her Peter Rabbit character there. Also known to have made a painting of the water mill at Mill Green.


Eric Kennington – achieved early success with his drawings of Arabs in what was then called Trans-Jordania (made possible thanks to an introductions from T E Lawrence – Lawrence of Arabia), these were used to illustrate Lawrence's book Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Served as an official artist in both WWI and WWII. Also renown as a sculptor, he carved the 15ft pillar used as a base for the model DH.88 Comet Racer which stands in front of the Comet Hotel in Hatfield. He also created the memorial to Geoffrey de Havilland Jr in the de Havilland HQ building. Married into the Exeter branch of the Cecil family (Hatfield House).


Beresford Johnson – employed as a draughtsman by the de Havilland Aircraft Company, he moved to Hatfield in 1937. A member of the Guild of Aviation Artists (GAvA), he formed the de Havilland Art Society. He did a series of pen and ink sketches of Old Hatfield around 1960-70.


Leo McDowell – brought up in the north and educated at Keighley Grammar School, Manchester University, Innsbruck University and Cambridge University. Spent eight years teaching in the middle east and took part in a number of archaeological digs. A self taught artist in water and acrylics he was elected to membership of the Royal Institute of Painters and Water Colours in 1985 (winning the Winsor and Newton Award in 1990). His work has been exhibited around the globe and is included in the collection of HRH Prince Charles, Herts County Council and Reuters. He served as headmaster at the Hatfield School and when the site was converted to the Central Resources Library in 1993 one of his works, 'Ginger Cat with the Head of Apollo', was put on public display there (however, it and the library has since been moved out of Hatfield). Cats are a common theme in his work. A retrospective exhibition of his work in 2010 included 'Roman Queen with White Cat' and 'White Cat With Teapot'. He is believed to live in Essendon.

Top ^


Back to: Hatfield claims to fame


Copyright © 2009, 2012 D H Markus. All rights reserved. No liability is accepted for the accuracy of information in this site.