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Friday’s Library Snapshot … Lynton Lamb

May 3, 2013

Lynton Lamb was born in Nizamabad, India in 1907, but returned to England with his family when he was child.  When his father died suddenly he left school to work in an estate agent’s office.  He was able to attend night school classes to study art and a year later he became a full-time student at the Central School of Arts and Craft his teachers included Noel Rooke (1928-1930).  From there be began a varied career in which he maintained a balance between; painting, illustration and other forms of design.

In 1930 he joined Oxford University Press as a production adviser; his first project was to design the bindings of its prayer books and bibles.  He soon graduated to the design of book jackets for the World’s classic series and numerous other works.  Soon he was able to use this experience to become a teacher of book production. Meanwhile he continued to paint and held his first solo show the Storran Gallery and published a books one named the Purpose of painting.  

During the Second  World War he  was drafted into the army where he worked for six years as a camouflage staff officer.

After the war he returned to Oxford University Press; as an art editor where he was able to employ a variety of techniques for the illustrations of works, such as the Oxford Illustrated Trollope, for example  wood engraving, pen and ink, chalk drawn directly onto lithographic stones and chalk on zinc plates.

Lamb was the head of lithography at Slade School of Art 1950-1971, at the Royal Collage of Art and also taught in the Ruskin School in Oxford.   

He was involved in commercial art including stamp designs. Lamb was the president of the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers.  (1951-1953) He received many honours during his lifetime including election to the Society of wood Engravers, the fellowship of the Society of Industrial Arts and the Royal Society od Arts.  In 1974 he was named Royal Designer to Industry.  He died in 1977 after a succession of strokes.  

Images from

Foxy-boy by David Severn with illustrations by Lynton Lamb

The friend with a secret by Angela Bull illustrated by Lynton Lamb

The quiet spirit ; an anthology compiled by Frank Eyre drawings by Lynton Lamb

The apple trees ; four reminiscences by Hugh Walpole with wood-engravings by Lynton Lamb

Our exploits at West Poley by Thomas Hardy illustrated by Lynton Lamb

Further reading Lynton Lamb ; Illustrator a selection oh his work arranged and introduced by George Mackie.

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