Edward Bawden

British , 1903 - 1989

Commercial artist, printmaker, illustrator and painter, Edward Bawden was born in Braintree, Essex in 1903. With a strong sense of craftsmanship, he had a ready facility in many techniques. Graphic and linear in quality, his work is often characterized by a narrative of delicate humor. Inspired in watercolor by the techniques of printmaking, he had a feeling for pattern and texture, often working in watercolor upon non- absorbent paper and later applying crayon.

Bawden attended the Cambridge School of Art from 1919 to 1921 and from 1922 to 1925, the Royal College of Art where he received a diploma in book illustration.

Inspired by Paul Nash, Bawden was introduced to the Curwen Press and began producing posters for the London Underground. His notable friendship with Eric Ravllious saw fruit as the two were commissioned by Sir Joseph Duveen to paint a mural at Morley College in London.

Between 1928 and 1929 Bawden experimented with watercolor at Great Bardfield. He also completed commissioned works for Shell- Max and the Westminster Bank. In 1939 he attempted the commercial printing of wallpaper from linoleum blocks. As an Official War Artist he traveled widely and was present at Dunkirk. Subsequent travels, to Sicily in 1952 and Persia in 1966, contributed to his wide-ranging subject matter. In the 1950s and 1960s he produced many public murals- notably at the Festival of Britain in 1952 and for the P&O Liner “Oronsay”.

Teaching periodically from the 1930s, at Goldsmith’s, the Royal College of Art and the Royal Academy Schools, Bawden was a guest instructor at the Banff School of Fine Art in Canada from 1949 to 1950. Exhibiting from 1926, his first solo show was at Zwemmer’s Gallery in 1933. He was a trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1951 to 1956.
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