Willson (Richard)

Edward Boyle, Baron Boyle of Handsworth,


, , 1969.
the original artwork used for the front cover of The Spectator magazine, published on 25th October, 1969, a ‘big head’ portrait of the Conservative politician, Edward Boyle (1923-1981), suitcase in one hand, a mortar board in the other, striding purposefully past a signpost pointing towards the ‘Groves of Academe’. Eton and Oxford-educated Boyle served in the Foreign Office at Bletchley Park during the war, then succeeding to his father’s baronetcy in 1945. From 1950, he began an active career at Westminster as M.P. for Handsworth in Birmingham, with appointments in the departments of Defence, the Treasury and, latterly, in Education and Science. In 1970, he took up the post of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, this Spectator cover artwork presumably marking the announcement of the forthcoming appointment late the previous year. He was also a Trustee of the British Museum over the same period until his death from cancer, at the age of only 58, in 1981.

Richard Willson (1939-2011) began as a cartoonist for The Observer in 1968, before moving to The Times and Sunday Times in the early 1970s. His popular and distinctive work also frequently appeared in The Spectator, Washington Post, New Statesman, and New Scientist,.