William Roberts

1895 – 1980

William Roberts has the distinction of being the longest living original Vorticist, and all through his life since 1914 Manifesto, considered himself a Vorticist.

He was born 5 June 1895 in London, and studied commercial art. Due to his talent for draughtsmanship, he was given a scholarship to the Slade School, where he attended from 1910 to 1913. He joined the Omega Workshops, though was not involved in the Round Robin Letter.

He was a signatory of the Vorticist Manifesto in Blast. However, he fell out with Lewis when the latter pronounced that:

…Vorticism, in fact, was what I, personally, did and said at a certain period…

Wyndham Lewis, Catalog Introduction, Wyndham Lewis and Vorticism, Te Tate Gallery 1956.

Understandably, Roberts took exception to him trying to make out it was all his own idea; a typically Lewisian utterance. It led to Roberts writing and publishing some pamphlets arguing his case, describing himself as a Vorticist.

He died 20 January 1980.

There is an excellent series articles, including many pictures, at William Roberts Society website.

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