Walpole Champneys 1879-1961

Thomas Beaumont Walpole Champneys was born in Woking, Surrey in 1879. He was a British artist and designer.

Champneys produced the cover illustrations for the first four UK (Methuen) Publications of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan books - 'Tarzan of the Apes' (September 1917); 'The Return of Tarzan' (April 1918); 'The Beasts of Tarzan' (September 1918) and 'The Son of Tarzan' (February 1919)

In 1917 Champneys designed the advertising poster for William J. Locke's 'The Red Planet' (published by John Lane) and in 1922 he designed an advertising poster for The Architectural Association's 'Architects Olympian Night' event at the conference hall at Olympia. Example of both posters are held in the collection of The V&A Museum, London.

From the early 1920s Champneys worked alongside notable architects of the day such as Robert Atkinson, Julian Leathart and F W Grainger to design sumptuous colour schemes, mural panels and textile hangings for public leisure and entertainment buildings. Projects include The Regent, Brighton (1921) - which had a Georgian Restaurant, a Ship Café and Winter Garden in the rooftop; The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon (1932) and the Dreamland Cinema and Sunshine Café, Margate (1934).

In 2013 The Dreamland Trust opened the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) 'Love Architecture Festival' with an exhibition at the Pie Factory Gallery, Margate to celebrate the work of Walpole Champneys. The exhibition included Walpole ChampneysÂ’ studies for the decorative panels within the Dreamland Cinema, and archive images of the 40ft sea serpent mural he painted in the Sunshine Café.

Examples of Champneys (late 1940s) textile designs appear in John Murdoch and Susan Lambert's 'Summary Catalogue of Textile Designs 1840-1985' and are held in the collection of The V&A Museum, London.

Walpole Champneys died in 1961, aged 82.