A Girl’s Head

Gilroy, John Thomas Young

Gilroy is perhaps best known as the designer of posters advertising the Irish brewery firm Guiness. A graphic artist and portrait painter, Gilroy was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, where he attended King Edward VII School and from where he gained a scholarship to Armstrong College Art School, part of the University of Durham. His studies there were interrupted by military service during the First World War, when he served with the Royal Field Artillery. In 1919 Gilroy gained a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, where he stayed on as a teacher. In 1928, Bensons advertising agency, for which Gilroy had at one time been employed before taking on freelance work, secured a contract with the Irish brewery firm of Guinness. Between 1930 and 1961, Gilroy designed adverts for Guinness which were to become icons of British advertising. In addition to his design work, Gilroy  also practised as a portrait painter, receiving many commissions from the royal family. He was made a Freeman of the City of London in 1981.This pencil drawing, A Girl’s Head, dated 1927, was bought by the LACF in that same year.


Other pieces in our collection

Side Table

Linnell, William

1755 – 1760

top. H. 99; L. 170


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