Finney, Hubert Arthur

(1905 – 1991)

School Teacher, mid 1920's


Signed with initials and titled. Pencil on paper.

1 in stock


The Artist’s Studio

At the age of twenty-two Finney’s talent  gained him a Scholarship to the Royal College of Art.  Here  he was taught and mentored  by William Rothenstein (1872-1945) – described by Finney as ‘a dynamic personality with high ideals, and a deep love of all the arts except music. His powerful personality infiltrated throughout the whole college and his deep belief in the significance of the Arts gave the students and most people who came in contact with him a feeling that any effort was worthwhile in finding a deeper meaning to life’. Finney was also taught be Allan Gwynne-Jones (1892-1982), Professor of Painting, who described him as  ‘one of the best students we have had. He is very gifted as a painter and designer’

Mahoney (with who had gained a scholarship to the RCA in advance of Finney) introduced him to a new circle: Gerald Ososki (1903-1981), Albert Houthnesen, (1903-1979 ) Percy Horton, (1897-1970) and Barnett Freedman (1901-1958) –  becoming himself one of the prodigies who created a golden generation  at the college between the wars. Group portrait  by Freedman.  None the less Finney wished that the RCA had ‘been a little more open to the contemporary movements of the time’ 

This study dates to Finney’s student years at the Royal College of Art.

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Finney, Hubert Arthur

1905 – 1991

Hubert Arthur Finney was a painter, draughtsman and teacher who trained initially at Bromley School of Art, where he attended evening classes from 1915, and then at Beckenham School of Art to where he won a trade scholarship in 1918. He studied painting with Amy Katherine Browning and etching with Eric Gill. Around 1927 he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, where he studied under William Rothenstein. Horton, Houthuesen, Ososki and Freedman were amongst his friends at the college. In 1929 after graduation he took up a travelling scholarship to Rome returning to teach part-time at Chelsea School of Art under Percy Jowett and later Harold Sandys Williamson. From 1927-1934 he exhibited at the NEAC. In 1935 his painting Mother and Child was acquired by Carlisle Art Gallery. During WW2 Finney worked for the light rescue service of the Civil Defense. After the war he taught part time under Anthony Betts at Reading University and was in charge of life drawing there when he retired in 1970. Although he was reclusive and reluctant to show his work he did exhibit at the RA Summer exhibition (in 1950 and 1954) and the Portrait Society and at The Paris Salon. A large solo exhibition took place at the University of Oxford’s Institute of Education in 1964.

We are grateful to Nicholas Finney and David Buckman for assistance.


Still life with onion and peppers, circa 1966