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Birmingham Post: 1952 Ben Hancocks worked all his life, on his own behalf as well as passing on his knowledge and techniques to many young art students who benefited from his teaching and ideas

Birmingham College of Arts and Crafts

With thanks to Ms Hazel Tatlow, Archivist, of the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design
who has found out the following about Benjamin 'Ben' Hancocks:

In May 1903 Benjamin Hancocks won awards for Elementary Flowers and Birds from Nature in w/c, Elementary Exercises in Design in w/c and Playing Card Backs and was awarded 5s in each case. (5 shillings, now 25 pence or 40 cents US).

At this time he must have attended the School of Arts branch school at Moseley Road, as he was also awarded 7s and 6s for designs given to pupils from this school.

In 1912-13, in a document - Mr B Hancocks is described as an ex 'Kendrick' and 'Louisa Ann Ryland' Scholar and is awarded a British Institution Scholarship = £50 for 2 or 3 years.

The 'Kendrick' scholarship was open to male free admissioners (a free admissioner was a Birmingham Elementary School Pupil who showed ability at drawing and so was given free admission to the Central School for two years) only 12 scholarships were given each year, and it amounted to 5s each week for the 1st session/term, rising to 6s and 7s for second and third session/term respectively.

The 'Louisa Anne Ryland' Scholarship was awarded to 6 students each year based on a exam, 4 students got £20 and 2 got £30.

From the listing in college prospectus, he is listed as starting as a teacher in the academic year 1915-16. These also advise of military service in 1917-19, he's not mentioned in 1919-20, but then returns in 1921-22 working in the Department of Modelling, Stone Carving and Letter Cutting - as an assistant to the Head of the Department - William Bloye.

From 1921 onwards, our indexed minutes for the school, detail his salary, absences and yearly re-appointment as a sessional teacher at the school, teaching modelling. He seems to continue working just part-time until 1940 in the above post.

British Artists

>Ben Hancocks, a British Artist born in 1888 who worked all his life until ill health prevented him from completing his final work in 1962.

This photograph shows him seated, bottom left, studying with a group in an art studio, possibly the Birmingham College of Arts and Crafts.

He married May Oldfield in the 1920s and she features in many of his drawings as a young woman and into her later years.

British Artists

The Royal Academy


There is only one mention of Ben Hancocks in the Royal Academy records which shows a 1916 entry for the Summer Exhibition:



  • 280 The Studio Mirror
  • 320 Edna (He had a niece called Edna who died in her teens.)



The address: 67 Aston Street, Birmingham; might indicate that he studied at the Birmingham College of Arts and Crafts where he was later to be Head of Department. (1950s).