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Wednesday’s woman wood engraver …

July 23, 2014


Dipping into English wood-engraving, 1900-1950 by Thomas Balston I came across some nice images by Gwenda Morgan (1908-1991).Who was a wood engraver born in Petworth, Sussex an area frequently depicted in her work. She attended Goldsmiths’ College of Art until 1929, after that at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art under Iain Macnab learning to wood engrave. After this she was introduced to Christopher Sandford at the Golden Cockerel Press where she illustrated books. She exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Redfern Gallery and for the Royal Society of Painters and Printmakers as a member. She was best know for a books and illustrations, especially Gray’s Elegy (1946)  and Grimm’s  Other Tales (1956) ( a new selection by Wilhelm Hansen ; translated & edited by Ruth Michaelis-Jena and Arthur Ratcliff : illustrated with ten wood-engravings by Gwenda Morgan.   

I managed to find a nice copy of  Grimms’ other tales. It would seem that among the treasures sent out of Berlin for safety during the Second War War were the notebooks of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Some of the manuscripts were many fairy tales collected by the brothers.  For various reasons many of these tales are not available for the general reader.  Fifty of them are presented in the replica of the famous Golden Cockerel edition.  All the tales compiled were either not used by the Grimms in the editions of their, or were ejected after the first edition.  The reasons for the shabby treatment seem to be twofold, and on the surface contradictory : some were left out because Wilhelm judge their story interest insufficient to hold attention, or the incidents to fragmentary, but others because they were too exciting; sometimes horrifying, for young readers.  while others.  Jacob the purist scholar, thought too ‘improved’ and embellished and therefore lacked  authenticity.  


6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2014 6:50 am

    Really beautiful craft. Thom.

  2. July 29, 2014 5:36 am

    I’ve been surfing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any
    interesting article like yours. It’s pretty
    worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all
    site owners and bloggers made good content as
    you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever

  3. March 31, 2015 1:25 pm

    We here at Kevis House Gallery, in Petworth, agree – we will in-fact have some of her work on show here, from 25 April – 20 May, so do come and see it if you are a fan!

    • March 31, 2015 1:33 pm

      I am now following you on FB. and I will try and come … thanks for the tip!

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