- Upper Denby, Huddersfield, United Kingdom: Fleece Press, 2022.
- square 4to
- quarter cloth over patterned paper-covered boards, paper spine label, slipcases
- 303; 304-637 pages
- ISBN: 9781916335547
Price: $995.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 139209
Limited to 480 copies, of which this is one of 145 special copies, housed in a slipcase or solander box, and including 22 tipped-in prints printed at the Fleece Press from the original blocks by artists including Joan Hassall, David Jones, Clifford Webb, Winifred McKenzie, Eric Ravilious, John Nash, Vivien Gribble, Joan Ellis, Blair Hughes-Stanton, John OConnor, Rachel Reckitt, Helen Binyon, Alison McKenzie, Tom Chadwick, Jean Burns, Reynolds Stone, and Claughton Pellew.
From the artist's website: "March 2020 marked the Centenary of the Society of Wood Engravers. One hundred years earlier, seven engravers met in Philip Hagreens studio and six of those seven agreed to form a new Society with a single agreed purpose of mounting exhibitions devoted to woodcutting and engraving by the European method.
During these early years between 1920 and 1946, the Society comprised a tiny group of about fifteen to twenty members, plus a few associates. Although numerous travelling exhibitions were put on with many brilliant prints, sales struggled. The backroom story is also one of struggle, particularly when the SWE split in 1925, and its offshoot the English Wood Engraving Society, was formed.
This book, published in two volumes, brings together text amounting to a quarter of a million words with a huge quantity of work produced by the members during the first 20 or so years of the Society. Biographies of almost every one of the 342 exhibiting engravers will be published for the first time, alongside the transcribed minute books of the Society, surviving correspondence, press cuttings, private view invitations, posters, and the entire list of exhibited prints. A useful overview of these early SWE days is provided in an Introduction by Joanna Selborne.
My purpose with this book is twofold: firstly, to give many long-forgotten (or never known) artists their rightful place alongside their more well-known contemporaries in what was a fascinating period for the art of wood engraving; and, secondly to provide a documentary record for future scholars to use as a springboard, because much of the history provided may never have been uncovered and connected otherwise. For example, the engraved images to the left, at the bottom of the images, are by two engravers, Elfie Parry (a Ravilious student) and Herry Perry (probably a Noel Rooke student) respectively, whose inclusion in the book, as with so many of the other engravers in the book, is the result of substantial detective work finding their descendants all around the world.
This is without any doubt the most complex and challenging book that the Press has published, but it has also been the most satisfying as my knowledge of the period has grown dramatically. I hope this book will allow you to share my enthusiasm for this Golden Age of wood engraving and encourage you to look at the images and see the tool marks and patterns which were being invented and developed for the first time."