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Punch Cartoon Art - Say it's grand to meet another steel frame erector - Acanthus (Harold Frank Hoar) (1945) - Framed Picture - 11" x 14"


Harold Frank Hoar, FRIBA, was a British architect, artist, academic and architectural historian.

Hoar first came to public prominence when, at the age of 25, he won a competition to design the first terminal building at London's Gatwick Airport in the 1930s. His architectural career focused increasingly on town planning in the post war years.

In a wide ranging career Hoar was probably best known as the cartoonist "Acanthus", where his work appeared in Punch, the Sunday Telegraph, The New Yorker and The Builder magazine; and as "Hope" in the Sunday Express. His cartoons reflected on the home front during the Second World War and were often accompanied by great architectural backdrops. As a cartoonist during the war, Hoar's political cartoons contemplated the long term direction of the war and of the perpetrators of its worst atrocities.

Hoar's cartoons as "Acanthus" combined amusing social commentary with architectural themes and backgrounds. The early cartoons provide a great insight into the Home Front during the Second World War; his subjects included the Home Guard, the crumbling country houses of the aristocracy and the prefabricated housing built after the war. They are also of some historical interest, reflecting as they do the social mores of the day. Hoar's work was later published in The Builder, an architectural and building magazine and in Men Only, then what might now be described as a lifestyle magazine.

Hoar was fond of using his cartoons to lampoon what he saw as its excesses - especially where they threatened architectural heritage. In doing so, the breadth of his historical architectural knowledge was used to good effect. An example was his skit on a proposal by Frank Lloyd Wright for a new building on the Grand Canal in Venice, published in Punch in 1954, in which Hoar suggests a medley of architectural styles.

His cartoons often reflected upon the chastened circumstances of English country houses requisitioned in the War and later left to their decline, a suitable theme for his architectural backgrounds.

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