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Friday’s snapshot from the library …

January 30, 2015

It was not until I began working in Special Collections here in the University of Reading that I noticed wood engraving.  I have been working on the the Mark Longman Library and the section on wood engraving is bulging at the seams.  I could post daily about the artists, their art and methods for ages, and I do! I am particularly interested the women of the industry, each week I think I will run out of resources. I have dined out on Patricia Jaffe’s Women Engravers for some months and I have almost exhausted her book. However, I this week I came across a pamphlet called ‘Shall we join the ladies?’ an exhibition of the 20th century wood engravings by women artists ; 13-27 October 1979 at the Museum of Oxford, St Aldgates, Oxford.

‘ … therefore I selected the leading women wood engravers to participate in the exhibition by showing the works of their choosing. Their response was immediate and enthusiastic, and the engravings so generously offered bear witness to their mastery of the meticulous and wholly delightful medium…’ by Betty Clark.

I was later able to track down the book that accompanied the exhibition in our store. So I am in a position to share one or two images; next week … some, I have not seen before.

However, before this came to light I  researched one of the exhibitors Rachel Reckitt (b. 1908) she is unknown to me but I understand she studied wood engraving at the Grosvenor School of Art under Iain Macnab, and lithography at the Central School of Art and Design. Exhibited at the leading London galleries and the New English Art Club. These images are from London South of the river by Sam Price Myers wood engravings by Rachel Reckitt;  They are lovely and among those in my top ten!

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