Thomas Bewick Graphic Worlds
A new book exploring the artwork of Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) focusing on commercial work that he produced such as advertisements.
Bewick was no isolated genius communing with nature or toiling in an artist's atelier, but a jobbing engraver busily plying his trade in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne at the very moment when the Industrial Revolution was beginning to change the world. As an artist-craftsman Bewick possessed an exceptional talent, but his workshop was a business, catering for the demands of local customers, from the gentry who wanted crests on silver cutlery to clockmakers who needed engraved dials.
Newcastle was also an important printing centre, so Bewick received commissions for illustrations for children's books, showmen's posters, tobacco wrappers and a host of other commercial items, which he infused with his own flair for originality. Over the ensuing years this ephemeral material has been unjustly marginalized, most notably by the Victorians, keen to promote Bewick as an artist pure and simple.
Illustrated with examples from the unrivalled collection of the British Museum, some never previously published, Thomas Bewick: Graphic Worlds allows a rare glimpse of his everyday commissions and provides a historical perspective to the images displayed.
About the Author
Nigel Tattersfield is an independent scholar and a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He has written extensively on the engravers Thomas and John Bewick and his most recent publication is the three- volume Thomas Bewick: the Complete Illustrative Work (2011).
Nigel's new book will be launched in Newcastle on 24th June 2014 at 6.30pm. The launch is organised by Waterstones and will be held at Newcastle City Library. Tickets are £4 (£3 Bewick Society members) and are available from Waterstones Newcastle. Click here for details.
The Bewick Society
The aim of the Bewick Society is to promote an interest in the life and work of Thomas Bewick and related subjects, especially with regard to wood-engraving. The Society publishes a journal called the Cherryburn Times, normally twice a year. This provides a forum for the activities of the Society and keeps members informed about the latest research into the life and work of Bewick and his apprentices. Members publish articles about their own special interests where relevant to the Society. The Society also arranges visits to special collections, some of which are not normally open to the general public. It encourages the development of facilities for conservation and display of Bewick related materials, including wood-engraving as practised by those following in Bewick’s footsteps.
Membership of the Society also gives free admission to the museum at Cherryburn, where Thomas Bewick was born, now in the care of the National Trust.
More information can be found on this page at the National Trust website.