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Paul Fripp


Written by John Easthope in 1986 to accompany a brochure for an Exhibition of Paul's work at Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum

As an artist, Paul Fripp was well born and well trained. Among the numerous members of his family were Nicholas Pocock 1740-1821, a sea captain, marine painter and founder member of the Old, later Royal Water Colour Society, and the brothers Alfred Downing Fripp and George Arthur Fripp (grandfather) 1813-1896, Secretary of the Royal Water Colour Society.

The discipline of fine drawing at the Royal College of Art left its mark on Paul Fripp and many of his contemporaries at that time, which was the period after the war of 1914-18. He had served in the Gallipoli and Palestine campaigns. But remarkable was the way in which he spread his talents to the crafts. The celebration and outflow of energy was enormous; it was neither work nor leisure, but his whole life. Apart from the crafts associated with a School of Art, Paul Fripp designed and made his own cameras. He had become a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and an industrial designer.

The 1914-18 war had left its mark on a splendid physical frame for he was a tall man, but the war had not diminished a memorable presence. He died aged fifty-five.

It was the unending and purposeful drive in his life which remains unexplained in his work.

Friends who knew him best were agreed that the most remarkable thing about Paul Fripp was the man himself, described by one as "a big man, in every sense of the word".

John Easthope
August 1986

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