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Milein Cosman and her friendship with Kyffn Williams

14 November 2019 7:30 pm


Keats Community Library, London

Milein Cosman and Kyffin Williams studied together at the Slade School of Fine Art in the early 1940s, when it was evacuated to Oxford.

This talk by Dr Ines Schlenker will explore their days at the Slade and traces Cosman’s post-war career in London that led to a co-operation with Williams on an arts programme for ITV and the creation of each other’s portraits in the early 1960s.

Cosman lived and worked in Hampstead and drew many local and nationally famous faces including Moore, Hepworth, Kellman etc. Many of her drawings are in National collections and also in private collections in Hampstead

Milein Cosman lived in Frognal Gardens until her death in 2017.  She was brought up in Dusseldorf and moved to Hampstead in 1939 and then entered the Slade School of Fine Art during the war. After the war she began freelance drawing for newspapers and magazines specialising in the world of music and dance. She was also a prolific book illustrator and made a series of school programmes on drawing for ITV in the late 50s. She married musician and broadcaster Hans Keller in 1961, with whom she often collaborated. In 1996 Sir Ernst Gombrich commented: “Posterity will be grateful to Milein Cosman above all for the sureness of her eye, with which she has succeeded in capturing the unique quality of so many of our distinguished contemporaries.”  Her work can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery in London as well as in the collections of the British Museum, The V&A, the Ashmolean and the Fitzwilliam.

Kyffin Williams taught art at Highgate School form 1944-73 before moving back to Anglesey to become one of Wales’ best-loved artists.   He had got to know Milein at the Slade.   He was a Royal Academician and some of his work can be found in the RA permanent collection as well as the Government Collection, The Arts Council, and the National Museum of Wales.

Dr Ines Schlenker is an independent art historian with a special interest in degenerate and émigré art. She has written a biography of Milein Cosman: “Milein Cosman: Capturing Time”.

Book online here.


14 November 2019
7:30 pm
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Keats Community Library
10 Keats Grove
London, NW3 2RR United Kingdom
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020 7431 1266
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