Painter and illustrator Edward Bawden’s five scrapbooks, assembled over a period of more than 55 years, and housed at The Fry Art Gallery, contain everything from stamps, photographs, cigarette cards, Christmas cards and letters to newspaper cuttings, and amongst other fascinating ephemera.
Edward Bawden Scrapbooks, by Brian Webb and Peyton Skipwith, includes over 250 images taken from these books, and reveals this wonderful and at times eccentric collection, providing new insight into the life and times of one of the most popular artists of 20th century Britain.
Ahead of its publication in June 2016, we’ve selected a few of our favourite pages to share from the book.
‘Home Sweet Home’, a linocut of Hatfield House, was Bawden’s first post-war Christmas card, 1945, and it is pasted here along with a list of intended recipients. The detail of the flowering chestnut is from the 1936 London Transport panel poster Chestnut Sunday, Bushy Park, which was reprinted as an insert in Signature magazine.
Above: Two scraps of brick and tile doll’s house paper, an advertisement for Empire Service (forerunner of BBC World Service) and a pot, probably by Michael Cardew, overlaid with a linocut impression of Bawden’s unicorn emblem for the Curwen Press form the main part of this ensemble, which is completed by a postcard of a medieval carving from Lincoln Cathedral, a plant study and a photograph of a piece of furniture with painted decoration by Bawden.
Above left: Two of Bawden’s complex designs for pattern and an invitation from the Mansard Gallery at Heal’s to view sketches for Wall decorations by Nan West, and Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious’s cartoons for the Morley College murals, June 1930.
In the margins, (top left), is one of Bawden’s advertisements for the Trustee Department of the Royal Exchange Assurance company and (bottom left) a sketch of a car. This is possibly related to the motoring title he designed for Carter, Stabler & Adams, the Poole Pottery.
Above righthand page: A watercolour by Bawden of the Pagoda at Kew, the printed proof of the dust jacket for The Ultimate Island by Lance Sieveking, and a strip of fishy wallpaper designed by Phyllis Mould along with an invitation to the unveiling by Stanley Baldwin of the Morley College murals, 5 February 1930, make up a bright and complex page.
These images and text are extracts from Edward Bawden Scrapbooks by Brian Webb and Peyton Skipwith, publishing in June 2016 in hardback £35. Pre-order your copy now!