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Friday’s Library Snapshot … Arthur Rackman

December 28, 2012

Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) was born in Lewisham, London one of 12 children, educated in City of London School. Suffering from poor health and desire to find a ‘cure’ he travelled to Australia with his two aunts.  On his return Arthur enrolled at an evening class at Lambeth School of Art; while he looked for work.  He was soon employed as a clerk at the Westminster Fire Office.
In 1892 be began working for the Pall Mall Budget then he transferred to the Westminster Budget as a reporter and illustrator. Rackham began illustrating books in 1894 and his professional life is best documented in the Illustrators : the British art of illustration 1800 -1999.
Arthur was widely regarded as one of the leading illustrators of the ‘Golden Age’ and particularly well known for his gift books.  Until the war in 1914 when quality books were no longer published and the taste in fantasy and fairies declined in 1920s.
Arthur Rackham’s works have become very popular since his death; his images are used by the greeting card industry.  His books are still widely available and his original drawings are keenly sought after in auction houses at home and abroad.

The pied piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

The springtide of life poems of childhood by Algernon Charles Swinburne illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

Irish fairy tales by James Stephens illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

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