English wood engraving

If you’ve looked at my Pinterest boards you may know that I have a particular affection for wood cuts and wood engraving. I know that I’m not alone in this – lots of people have Pinterest boards on the subject and I do have some followers of this specific board. I’ve just been updating the board with new images by Clifford Webb, Gwen Raverat and others. I’ve got plenty of other artists to explore, thanks to a book I’ve recently been reading on the subject: ‘English Wood Engraving 1900-1950’ by Thomas Dalston, published by Dover Editions. I originally became familiar with some of the Dover editions output when I developed a keen interest in the work of Karl Blossfeldt (if by any chance you don’t know about him, do look him up on Google images) and acquired a Dover editions book of Blossfeldt’s photographs.

The English wood engraving book is a little gem. It was first published in 1950 and then was reissued by Dover last year (2015). Here’s a photo of the cover. English wood engraving

The book contains many fine examples of wood engraving from this period which was obviously something of a golden age for the art in England. Some of the artists’ names are familiar to me, e.g. Clare Leighton, Eric Gill, John Nash and Paul Nash, Eric Ravilious and so on. But there are plenty of examples of the work of lesser known artists (lesser known to me, that is). I was very much struck by the stylish work of Robert Gibbings, and that of Tirzah Garwood, for example.┬áThe essay that accompanies the images is very readable and full of information that is new to me. I liked the book very much indeed, and I’ll continue to work through the artists’ names looking for images for my Pinterest board.

 

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