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Edward Bawden’s England (Victoria and Albert Museum) (Artists In Focus)

Gill Saunders


A beautiful and informative gift book devoted to Edward Bawden's representations of England

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Edward Bawden (1903-1989) was a printmaker, painter, illustrator and designer. He studied and later taught at the Royal College of art, served as a war artist in WW2 and worked extensively as a commercial artist for companies including London Transport, Fortnum and Mason, Shell-Mex, the Folio Society and Chatto and Windus. Aside from the years he spent in France, the Middle East and North Africa while serving as a war artist, and later visits to Canada and Ireland, Bawden rarely travelled far from home, but found inspiration in the fields and farms of his native Essex, at the seaside, and in classic London scenes: Kew Gardens, the Royal Parks, the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral, and the iron-and-glass monuments to Victorian engineering such as Liverpool Street station and the markets in Spitalfields and Smithfield.

This book celebrates England as represented by Bawden in 85 works held in the V&A’s collection, including prints, posters, drawings, paintings, murals and advertising material. The illustrations include such early pieces as his poster Map of the British Empire for an exhibition in 1924; his mural English Garden Delights, designed for the Orient Line Navigation Company in 1946; illustrations for books including Good Food, The Gardener’s Diary and Life in an English Village; advertising work for London Transport, Shell and Fortnum & Mason; the poster Lifeguards, created to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953; and a varied selection of linocuts and watercolours.

As this book demonstrates, it was England, with its quiet landscapes, its pleasures and pastimes, its history and ceremonies, its traditions and recreations, that was the source of Bawden's finest and most engaging work.

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'A jewel box containing numerous reproductions of Bawden’s cheerful art'
The New Criterion

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Quarterbound (no jacket)

Size: 19.0 x 17.0 cm

Extent: 144 pp

Illustrations: 110

Publication date: 2 March 2023

ISBN: 9780500480779

About the Author

Gill Saunders joined the V&A in 1979 and became Senior Curator of Prints in 2006. Her primary expertise is in 20th century and contemporary prints, drawings and paintings. Gill has curated many exhibitions and displays at the V&A over the past 40 years, on subjects including botanical illustration, watercolour painting, contemporary prints, images of the nude, and wallpapers. Gill has devised a number of V&A UK touring exhibitions – including Recording Britain (2012-2014); Modern Masters in Print: Matisse, Picasso, Dali and Warhol (2015-17), Facing History: Contemporary Portraiture (2015-16), and Pop Art in Print (2017-18); a display, Paul Nash and the Art of the Book, will open in August 2022. The exhibition Lucian Freud’s Etchings: a creative collaboration is in preparation and will open at the V&A in September 2023. Gill has worked with the Whitworth Art Gallery, the Jerwood Gallery, and taught at the University of Sussex, and lectures and broadcasts regularly on her areas of expertise.