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Wednesday’s Wood Engraver … Mabel Annesley

June 25, 2014

Lady Mabel Marguerite Annesley (1881-1959) was a wood-engraver and watercolour artist.  Her work can be found in British Museum, the Victoria and Albert, the National Gallery of Canada and the Museum of New Zealand.  She also exhibited in the Festival of Britain in 1952.

At fourteen she studied at the Frank Calderon School of Animal Painting in London At eighteen she was elected a member of the Belfast Art Society and exhibited with them for many years.

It was some years later when she learned the art of wood engraving at the Central School in London.  She was soon regarded with Robert Gibbings and Gwen Raverat as the leading wood engravers in Britain. She was unusually articulate and her autobiography, as well as describing vividly scenes and people in England, Ireland and New Zealand and places where she had lived in the world, it throws light on the abstract and physical values on things she had encountered.  It would seem that she had collected material over many years for what was to be a picture book; it includes thirty-five wood engravings that are an intimate recording of the world she describes. The book  called As the Sight Is Bent, was left unfinished at her death.  It was was published by the Museum Press in 1964.


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