Born in 1904, Robin Tanner studied at Goldsmith’s College in London under Clive Gardiner and Stanley Anderson. He became a teacher in 1924, teaching at schools in Greenwich, Corsham and Chippenham in Wiltshire. In 1935 Tanner became one of his Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools in primary education and afterwards worked in Leeds, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.
Tanner believed in the study of natural things and the exploration of arts and crafts, music and poetry. He was a distinguished artist and etcher and he was one of the founders of the Crafts Study Centre at the Holborne Menstrie Museum in Bath. Over a period of sixty years, Tanner produced some fifty etchings celebrating his beloved Wiltshire countryside, following in the steps of Samuel Palmer and Frederick Griggs.