Arthur Lett Haines

Arthur Lett-Haines (1894 – February 25, 1978), known as Lett Haines, was a British painter and sculptor who experimented in many different media, though he generally characterised himself as "an English surrealist". He was part of a London artistic circle, which included D. H. Lawrence, the Sitwells and Wyndham Lewis. (P: Cedric Morris, circa 1920, Given by Ronald George Blythe, 2004, NPG x127186)

Arthur Lett was born in 1894, the son of Charles Lett and Frances Laura Esme Lett (who afterwards married S. Sidney Haines). He was educated at St Paul's School.

In the First World War he served in the British Army.

In 1916 Lett-Haines married Gertrude Aimee Lincoln at Hailsham, but he met the painter Cedric Morris in 1918. Morris and Lett Haines fell in love and began a life-time relationship, and shortly afterwards Morris moved in with Haines and his second wife, Aimee. The trio planned to go to America, but in the event Aimee Lett-Haines left on her own, and the two men moved to Cornwall. They converted a row of cottages at Newlyn into a larger house and stayed there until the end of 1920, when they moved to Paris. Morris and Lett-Haines lived together until his death, Haines largely subordinating his own artistic career to promote that of his partner. This relationship lasted some 60 years, despite its open nature that included attachments on both sides such as Haines' affair with the artist and author Kathleen Hale.

After initially living at Newlyn, they moved to Paris in 1920, becoming part of an expatriate artistic community that included Juan Gris, Fernard Léger, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Nancy Cunard and Ernest Hemingway. They returned briefly to London in 1926, before moving in 1929 to Suffolk.

...The school closed when Haines died in 1978, though Morris continued to live at Benton End until his death in 1984....
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Suzan Hamer


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watercolor and bodycolour colored crayon