Painter lends a hand to Keats Community Library from beyond the grave
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
A celebrated Hampstead painter has donated a collection of her artworks from beyond the grave to raise money for Keats Community Library.
Hanna Weil died in 2011 but her daughter Shuey Delaney has handed over a dozen of her sketches and finished works for auction at the community-run library on Saturday, March 16.
Prints of her interpretations of London landmarks The Tower of London and Hampton Court are still on sale at the London Transport Museum, but this is likely to be the last time her work will go under the hammer.
Though her paintings have been sold at leading auction houses in New York and Canada, Ms Weil would have been “chuffed” that the proceeds of this, her last auction, were going to the library in Keats Grove, which lost most of its funding from Camden Council last year.
Mrs Delaney, a 64-year-old graphic designer, said: “She would have been really pleased with the idea of raising money for the library because she would never have thought of it.
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“Even though she was an astute businesswoman, she would never have approached the library thinking she could have helped, she would have been too embarrassed.”
Ms Weil fled to Britain with her parents in 1932 as Adolf Hitler’s grip on Germany strengthened.
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The family moved to Hampstead Garden Suburb, with Ms Weil going to the North London Collegiate School before attending Saint Martins School of Art, now Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, to study dress design.
Soon after, she married Rudolf Strauss, who played an integral part in the invention of the transistor radio.
It was on their regular travels to Europe in their series of retro convertible cars that Ms Weil would sketch the buildings that would later be used as the basis for her surreal landscapes – a hallmark of her work.
Mrs Delaney, who inherited her parents’ home in Christchurch Hill, said: “Her sense of perspective was completely hopeless and that gave her paintings a fairly surreal feel.”
The auction will be held at Keats Community Library between 10am and 4pm alongside other works by students at Hampstead School of Art.
n For more information visit www.keatscommunitylibrary.org.uk