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Friday’s Library Snapshot

February 7, 2014

This book featured in a recent exhibition at the Museum, each day I passed, I looked forward to a time when I could open it.  The opportunity came this week; and I wasn’t disappointed; the illustrations are lovely although the book  has been well enjoyed by its previous owner.  Items in our Children’s Collection are mostly donations from personal collections and often annotated.  So some of the items perhaps worn and torn, have an extra story to tell which I find much more fun

This book is by Walter Crane (1845-1915) born in Liverpool. At the age of 14 he made a set of coloured designs and sent them to the wood engraver William James Linton. He was very impressed and took Crane on as an apprentice. Where he was not just taught the theory and practice of illustration but also encouraged his interest in politics.  

Later he met Edmund Evans with whom he began to produce a series of cheap children’s books which made Crane’s name.  With this wealth of experience he joined Dalziels for Once a Week and Fun, His illustration work in general would help to establish the Aesthetic Style of the 1870s and 89s.  

Meanwhile he met Burne-Jones and Morris and joined the Socialist League that was established in 1883.  In the same year he joined the Fabian Society and for the rest of his life he used his talents for the Socialist cause.  He was also involved with art education He was also the founder and first master of the Art Workers Guild and various other Societies.

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