Born in London, Charles Keeping first joined the Royal Navy at the age of eighteen following the onset of the Second World War. After the War, Keeping applied for a grant to study art at the Regent Street Polytechnic where he specialised in illustration and lithography. Following graduation the artist accepted a position on the staff of the Daily Herald publication, and regularly contributed political cartoons to Punch magazine. Keeping also authored and illustrated works of his own creation. His first book ‘Why Die of Heart Disease?’ was a humorous publication which promoted health awareness, and this interest in education encouraged the artist to provide illustrations for a number of educational textbooks.
Keeping rose to prominence as an artist through his illustration of Rosemary Sutcliffe’s historical novels for children, the first of which was ‘The Silver Branch’ in 1957. Following this success, Keeping went on to illustrate numerous publications for the Oxford University Press and later received a significant commission to illustrate a collection of Charles Dickens’ complete works for the Folio Society, published in 1978. His work continues to delight and inspire audiences at the eponymous Keeping Gallery in Kent.