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British Prints from the Machine Age

Rhythms of Modern Life 1914-1939

Clifford S. Ackley


Examines the impact of Futurism and Cubism on British modernist printmaking from the beginning of World War I to the beginning of World War II


British Prints from the Machine Age is a profusely illustrated examination of the impact of avant-garde Continental influences on British printmaking in the years stretching from the First World War to the outbreak of the Second.

It features more than 100 lithographs, etchings, woodcuts and linocuts, ranging from radical geometric abstractions to forceful impressions of the first fully mechanized war and colourful Jazz Age images of sports, speed trials, and other contemporary diversions.

Clifford S. Ackley’s introduction takes stock of the art historical movement and is followed by lively, thematic discussions of the prints, an overview of the history and technique of the modern linocut, and short biographies of the artists. The images produced by these innovative printmakers powerfully embody the era's preoccupations with speed, machines, urbanism and other exciting new facets of modern life.

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback with flaps

Size: 24.0 x 21.5 cm

Extent: 224 pp

Illustrations: 163

Publication date: 24 August 2009

ISBN: 9780500288375

Contents List

Director’s Foreword • Preface by Stephen Coppel, British Museum Introduction by Clifford Ackley • 1. World War I • 2. Vorticism and Abstraction • 3. Urban Life/Urban Dynamism • 4. Speed and Movement 5. Sports • 6. Industry and Labour • 7. Entertainment, Music, Leisure • 8. Natural Forces • Appendix: Illustrated essay on technical aspects of linocut technique, by Stephanie Lussier and Rachel Mustalish

About the Author

Clifford Ackley is Senior Curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Stephen Coppel is curator of modern prints and drawings at the British Museum.

List of Contributors

Stephen Coppel, Samantha Rippner, Thomas E. Rassieur, Stephanie Lussier, Rachel Mustalish