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Mixing visual arts, literature and performing arts

During his years in the Camouflage Unit, Mozley had become good friends with many of his contemporaries including Edward Seago and Victor Stiebel, the renowned fashion designer to the wealthy and famous. Those friendships were renewed after the war. The former was to encourage Mozley to paint en plein air in both Hampshire and Suffolk, while the latter brought him into contact with many in the world of stage and screen such as the artist and playwright, Clemence Dane, the film mogul Sir Alexander Korda and composer, Richard Addinsell.

1947 saw Mozley design stage sets and costumes for Tuppence Coloured, a Review by Laurier Lister produced by The Company of Four. The show starred Max Adrian, Elisabeth Welsh and Joyce Grenfell with much of the music written by Richard Addinsell and including works by Flanders and Swann. Victor Stiebel designed Grenfell’s dress while Mozley that of Welsh who sang the first rendering to an English audience of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose”. Mozley also designed other costumes for the show, some of the scenery and the programme cover. That year he also produced his first film poster for Sir Alexander Korda’s “An Ideal Husband”. For the opening night, Mozley designed several lithographic posters of the principal protagonists, Paulette Goddard and Michael Wilding. Mozley would go on producing work for Korda for the next ten years.

By February of 1948 Charles Mozley had been recruited by Kitty Black on behalf of “The Company of Four”, to design posters for H.M. Tennant, which would include the arrival on the London stage of such iconic works as Arthur Miller’s “All my Sons” and Jean Paul Sartre’s “Crime Passionnel”. The collaboration only lasted eighteen months (twelve productions) but, in the words of Black in her autobiography ‘Upper Circle’:

“Charles proved to be an enchanting person, and prepared to work for the peanuts which was all anybody was ever paid for contributing to the Company of Four. He agreed to produce two lithograph designs, one for the double crown and one for the folio bills (anything larger had to be created in ordinary letterpress, notably for the provincial try-outs), the only stipulation being that he would never submit a design. He promised he would never use more than two colours to keep the costs down and created a series of outstanding works of theatrical memorabilia in the Daumier-Bickerstaff Brothers tradition of which we were immensely proud.”

Festivals and a Coronation: celebrating life, its amusements and anniversaries

For the Festival of Britain in 1951, Mozley was asked to paint a 30ft. high mural for the Health Pavilion on the South Bank. The painting of murals was not a sector of the art world that he particularly was interested in, but he, nevertheless, exceled. He painted murals to decorate his own houses, and, probably to show that he could emulate the masters of the art, Mozley enlivened the walls for, among others, the wine writer Hugh Johnson, the writer and Labour M.P. Maurice Edelman at Hughendon Manor, for Sidney Creamer, his friend and Jaguar agent, at his mews house in Kensington and most spectacularly for his friend Paul Carvosso at Hobart Hall Hotel in Richmond. These were not pecuniary objectives, but a way of doing what he enjoyed most in life on a grand scale and among friends. He believed in celebrating national events and personal achievements. Thus, he would produce a series of oil paintings and lithographs in 1977 for the Review of the Fleet seen from Rowley Atterbury’s yacht and exhibited at Rowley’s good friend, actor and theatre manager, Bernard Miles’s Mermaid Theatre.

The Coronation in 1953 provided an array of commissions from Government Institutions to the press and corporate advertising.

Whatever may have been his own preoccupations, he was always ready to celebrate life and its enjoyment. This was true for many special events, both private and corporate. It was even more so for national events such as the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill when he was able to persuade George Rainbird to publish his sketchbook of the event. This has recently been re- published by Unicorn Press.

His work for the wine trade contained many examples of what may have been regarded as ephemera, but its quality and imagination make them collectables, if not fine art.

He would be called on by Atterbury to enliven parades in Westerham if Churchill was visiting from nearby Chartwell or there was a special New Year’s Eve Party being organised at his Press.

Similarly, he would produce at a moment’s notice amusing posters for Paul Carvosso at the wine bar Pissaro in Kew, or, in 1977, a booklet on the association of the Crown with Richmond for the Council to be given to local schools to celebrate the Silver Jubilee.

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