Friday, 30 November 2012

English Graphic

 A new collection of the writings of the late Tom Lubbock has been published.

"English Graphic is a book of essays on the subject of illustration, with the focus entirely on English artists using graphic media; drawings, prints and watercolours. The pieces are largely drawn from Tom Lubbock’s weekly Great Works column for the Independent, with some longer pieces originally published as reviews or catalogue essays. The historical span of the book is broad – from the Uffington White Horse to the Winchester Psalter Hellmouth to Harry Beck’s London Underground Map and beyond. The high point of English Graphic art in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century makes up the heart of the book, with Fuseli, Blake, Bewick and Palmer all the subject of extended essays."
ISBN: 9780711233706
Format: 218mm x 165mm
50 illustrations in colour and b/w
With an introduction by Jamie McKendrick
More details on the publisher's website here

Friday, 26 October 2012

200 Years of Nonsense: Edward Lear Bi-centenary Celebration with Brian Alderson


5.30, Saturday November 3rd, 2012
Percy Building, Newcastle University
Children’s book historian, bibliographer and critic Brian Alderson will offer greetings to Edward Lear on his 200th birthday, briefly outlining his pomskizillious life and dwelling on the sometimes unobserved depths of his writing for children.

From 4.00-5.30 you can enjoy tea and cakes in the Percy Building, or join a tour of Edward Lear Exhibition in the Robinson Library, which will include rare editions of Lear’s works from the collection of renowned bibliographer Brian Alderson.
Brian’s lecture will begin at 5.30.

This event is part of the Children’s Literature Unit Postgraduate Open Day – join us from 2.00to find out more about Masters and PhD programmes at Newcastle.
For more information see Newcastle University website or contact

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The Bewick Prize, Sue Scullard, Elephant and Calf.

The Bewick Prize is an annual prize for a small wood engraving funded by the Bewick Society, awarded at the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers.

Sue Scullard is the first winner of The Bewick Prize.
Her print is entitled 'Elephant and Calf' (97mm x 121mm). It is a beautiful engraving of great detail and skill and a worthy winner.

Thomas Bewick was keen that wood engraving would long flourish and that it's artists would thrive.
'How far I may venture further to obtrude my opinions, or advice, on the notice of artists, particularly engravers on wood, I know not, but they may readily imagine that I cannot help feeling a deep interest, and an ardent desire, that the art may long flourish, and that those who follow it may feel happy in the pursuit. Perhaps what I have already said may not be uninteresting to some of them, and, if I knew how I could go further, in any way that might urge or stimulate them to feel enthusiasm for this art, it should not be wanting; for the wish, though tottering on the down-hill of life, is extended beyond the grave.'
[A Memoir of Thomas Bewick, Written by Himself edited with an Introduction by Iain Bain, Oxford University Press, 1979 p.201]

The 75th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers runs from 20th September 2012 to 20th October 2012 at Art Jericho Gallery, 6 King Street, Oxford OX2 6DP. It then goes on tour to Bath, London, North Yorkshire and Axminster.

More details on the website of the Society of Wood Engravers.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

ALEX FOTHERINGHAM 22 May 1940 - 14 June 2012

ALEX FOTHERINGHAM  22 May 1940 - 14 June 2012
There will be a Memorial Celebration on 2nd October at the Lit & Phil in Newcastle - 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne- close to Newcastle Central Station, (1:30 for 2:00 - coffee and tea served) from 2:00 to 3:00 followed by buffet food in a nearby pub - The Bridge Hotel -until 5 - 5:30. Further information or directions available from Anthony Smithson ( / 0191 296 0664

Friday, 21 September 2012

John Jones talk in Lympstone, Devon

Thomas Bewick Talk

The artist-printmaker John Jones will be giving a talk in Lympstone Village Hall, Devon on the Vignettes or tail-pieces of Thomas Bewick.
The 18th century wood engraver is famous for his pictures of country life. His greatest achievement, The History of British Birds, also contains little vignettes, with humorous views of everyday incidents – a man fishing from the back of his horse, somebody drinking water from the brim of his hat, ducks waddling past a chap smoking a pipe as he leans over a gate. The tiny engravings tell us what it was like to live in England in the 1780s and 90s, and John Jones will show and discuss most of these wonderful pictures in the Village Hall on Friday 21st September at 7.30pm. The talk is presented by Lympstone Art Group.
Contact: Anne Crisp 01395 273211
Details here

Monday, 17 September 2012

Linnean Society Event

Thomas Bewick, Engraver and Naturalist

Lecture 3rd December 2012
Speaker: Jenny Uglow

Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) was not only a superb artist and innovator in wood engraving, but his work for Quadrupeds (1790) and especially for his History of British Birds (1797-1804), shows that he was also an excellent naturalist, a meticulous observer of birds and animals in their habitats. Using images from his work, Jenny Uglow illustrates Bewick's growing expertise, and also places him in the fascinating network of correspondence and exchange between amateur naturalists in the late eighteenth century, gentlemanly, scholarly and artisan.
Tea will be served in the Library from 5.30pm and the lecture will be followed by a wine reception.
This meeting is free and open to all; registration is not necessary
Linnean Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BF
You can find out about the Society and its other events here

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Keel Row Bookshop

Bookseller Anthony Smithson offers useful tips ahead of this year's York National Book Fair.
Date and time: Thursday 6 September 2012 at 7.30pm onwards. Refreshments provided.
Venue: The Keel Row Bookshop, 11 Fenwick Terrace, Preston Road, North Shields.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

No. 69 in the Greatest Geordies list

Newcastle's Evening Chronicle has been publishing biographies of great Geordies. Its a top one Hundred with figures from sport and entertainment rubbing shoulders with those from arts, politics. There are historical figures and contemporary ones. Thomas Bewick is at Number 69, that's one ahead of Gertrude Bell but 7 behind T.Dan Smith.
You can find the Chronicle's potted biography of Bewick here.
Here are some of those top one hundred names:
73 - Jonathan Edwards
72 - Terry Deary
71 - Charles Avison
70 - Gertrude Bell
69 - Thomas Bewick
68 - Charlie Spedding
67 - Cheryl Cole
66 - Bob Stokoe
65 - Hari Shukla
64 - Rowan Atkinson
63 - William Shield
62 - T Dan Smith

Friday, 31 August 2012

In Bewick's Footsteps

Join us this Sunday (2nd September) at 11am for a picturesque Tyne Valley ramble from Cherryburn to Ovingham, the village where Thomas Bewick went to school and the churchyard where he is buried.
Meet at Cherryburn, rain or shine. Further deatils from National Trust at Cherryburn

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Wood Engraving with Chris Daunt : September 2012

Saturday 8 September 2012

"This course is suitable for beginners. Chris Daunt will take you through planning, cutting and printing a wood-engraving. You will be shown how to transfer a design onto a wood block, cut it using specialist tools and then ink it up and print it on our beautiful Albion press." Northern Print.

"All tools and materials are provided and there will be the opportunity to purchase additional materials at the end of the course."
Details and booking via Northern Print on their website

Monday, 13 August 2012

Double Vision: Raymond Arnold and Ian Westacott

Double Vision: Raymond Arnold and Ian Westacott:
An Exhibition of Fine Contemporary Etchings by two Leading International Printmakers.
Cadzow_installation_shot_3 Homage_to_bewick_cadzow_2012_60cmx60cm_web

Westacott is an Australian artist who lives near Dornoch in the highlands of Scotland and Arnold is an Australian artist who splits his life between France, Scotland and the remote west coast of Tasmania, where he currently runs a thriving international gallery.
Homage to Bewick, Cadzow, features as a significant work within this exhibition and is by Ian Westcott. The image depicts a particular oak tree from a group known as the Cadzow oaks.  These impressive old oaks, dating back to the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 are located near the town of Hamilton. 

Bewick has been an on-going influence on Ian Westcott’s work, there is an interesting parallel between how both artists have used their experience of landscape to inform their love of nature and drawing.

With regard to Ian’s practice as a whole, he etches tree portraits, focusing on rare, historical or significant trees and recording them, directly to the plate. They are beautiful and remarkable examples of fine etching, which is an art form that is fast disappearing from the world.

7 July - 29 August 2012 at the Celia Lendis Contemporary, High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh, The Cotswolds.
Gallery Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm (Closed Tue). Sunday 12pm-4pm

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Cherryburn Print Studio Appeal

Claudia Liefland is looking for volunteers.
"Would you be interested to work as a volunteer in the Print Studio of Thomas Bewick at Cherryburn? We are looking for people who would like to demonstrate wood engraving printing on an Albion Press, talk about Thomas Bewick's art and life and answer questions from the public. We will give you an induction and training. We are also getting the etching press up and running....."
Contact Claudia for more details

Friday, 27 July 2012

Posted, The Cherryburn Times

Posted to Bewick Society Members today: The Cherryburn Times Volume 6 Number One Summer 2012. Includes D.W.S.Gray on Tattersfield.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Alnwick Book Fair Saturday 7th July

This year’s Alnwick Book Fair takes place next week in the town’s Northumberland Hall.
The event, on Saturday 7th July,  looks set to match the success of last year’s inaugural fair with 30 specialist dealers from around the country offering thousands of collectable and rare books on all subjects,  including children’s and local history.
 The fair is organised by the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association (PBFA), the world’s largest professional trade organisation for antiquarian booksellers.  The fair is supported by Alnwick’s Barter Books and promoted by Alnwick Chamber of Trade.
Alnwick Book Fair details:
Date: Saturday 7th July.
Venue: Northumberland Hall, Alnwick.
Time: 10am to 4.30pm.
Free admission

Further information ring 0191 2960664 or follow Fair Manager Anthony Smithson on Twitter  @keelrowbookshop
See also

Andy English

If you are near Ely, Cambridgeshire, do go to Andy English's latest exhibition.
Details here.
He's also opening his studio studio as part of the Cambridge Open Studios on the weekends of July 7th/8th and 14th/15th between 11am and 6pm.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Wildlife walk from Cherryburn

Book now for a 3 mile wildlife walk between the birthplaces of Geordie icons Thomas Bewick and George Stephenson on Sunday 15th July at 2pm. £6 (incl. refreshments and return transport)
Details from the National Trust at Cherryburn

Friday, 29 June 2012


In honour of the storm which swept through the North East of England yesterday, here are some stormy Bewick tale-pieces.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Bewick cards for sale

Bewick Society member Robert Jones has lots of his popular Bewick Cards still available for sale.
Favourably priced at £9 for a set of 18, postage extra.
Contact Robert at

Monday, 14 May 2012

Francis Nicholson, 18th C Lithographs Evening Talk

Francis Nicholson, 18th C Lithographs Evening Talk
Ryedale Folk Museum
Thursday 17th May
Cost per person: £6.00
Hailed by his contemporaries as the“Father of watercolour painting in this country”, Francis Nicholson’s career spanned nine decades. He witnessed the founding of the Royal Academy, the opening of the first public ‘Picture Gallery’, the founding of the National Gallery, and the Inaugural Exhibition of the Society of Painters in Watercolours of which he was a founder member. He was born in Pickering, North Yorkshire in 1753 and for some fifty years painted portraits and scenes mainly in the northern counties. After moving his family to London, he became a fashionable drawing master and an early innovator in the newly discovered medium of “lithography”- the art of making prints from drawings on stone. To celebrate the bicentenary of his Presidency of the Society, a ‘Nicholson Group’ was formed in the town of his birth to recognise his achievements and to mount an exhibition of his work.
Professor Gordon Bell, Guest Curator of this exhibition at The Art Gallery, Ryedale Folk Museum will give an illustrated talk about the “Father of watercolour painting in this country”, Francis Nicholson’s life. This will be followed by a guided tour of rarely seen watercolours, prints and drawings by a remarkable man and his three children and nephew, all of whom were artists
Pre-booking essential
The exhibition "F. Nicholson, Painter, Printmaker, Drawing Master" continues until 20th May

Ryedale Folk Museum
Hutton le Hole
YO62 6UA
Tel: 01751 417 367

Thursday, 10 May 2012

‘Men of the North’

Doctor Keith Armstrong presents:
‘Men of the North’ (part of Local History Month)
From poet John Cunningham to wood engraver Thomas Bewick, political agitator and poet Tom Spence, painter John Martin to writer Jack Common - their stories told by Dr Keith Armstrong aka The Jingling Geordie who also performs his own poems dedicated to this splendid array of local talent.
Thursday 17th May 2011  6.30-7.30pm 
Bewick Hall, Newcastle City Library
Admission free

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Bewick in Gateshead Review

Thanks to Alan Sykes on the Northerner Blog of the Guardian for his excellent piece on Bewick in Gateshead.
"In a much quieter way, he could be as acute and as eloquent a critic of human brutality as Goya. Many of his works touch on cruelty to children or animals, and, living through the Napoleonic wars, he was an early proponent of pacifism – as he put it
"I had reasoned myself into a detestation of war, its cruelty, its horrors, and the superlative wickedness of the authors of it… It is foreign to my purpose to enlarge upon this subject: I must leave that to others; and there is an abundant scope to dilate upon, and to depicture, the horrors of war in their true colours.""
Thanks also to "Zombus" and to Martin Wainwright in the comments section.
Although one wonders as to the identity of the "Berwick Society"? Thanks Gruaniad spell-checkers.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Bewick in Gateshead Photos

Some photographs from St Mary's Heritage Centre Gateshead.
More details here


A lecture by Dr. Peter Quinn
Two hundred years ago, in 1812, Thomas Bewick and his family moved from Newcastle
to Gateshead. The engraver bought a large west-facing house with garden in Mirk Place,
later known as 19 West Street. The lecture will explore the significance of Gateshead in
Bewick’s life and work.
From his work-room in Gateshead Bewick completed his last
published works. He also welcomed many admirers, among them the American artist
John James Audubon. It was from their base in Gateshead that his daughters guarded and
shaped the Bewick legacy late into the nineteenth century.
Date and time: Friday 4 May at 11am
Venue: Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead
(Illustration from The Fables of Aesop, published 1818)

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Bewick in Gateshead

Bewick in Gateshead
An exhibition looking at the work of Thomas Bewick and those who followed in his footsteps.
2012 marks the 200th anniversary of Thomas Bewick’s move to 19 West Street in Gateshead.
Examples of his much loved work will be on display, illustrating the breadth of his work and his capacity to incorporate domestic life into his engravings. Throughout the month of May there will be Blackwork demonstrations by Linda Morris championing the images from Bewick – there are also activities for families to enjoy based around techniques used by Bewick.
The Exhibition is launched on Tuesday 1st of May and runs through until the end of the month.
The exhibition is FREE and available to view during normal opening hours
St. Mary’s Heritage Centre
Oakwellgate, Gateshead, NE8 2AU
Tel: 0191 433 4699 Email:

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Free Guided Tours of the Lit and Phil

Free guided tours of The Lit& Phil
The next dates available for Free guided tours of The Lit and Phil:
Monday 14th May at 11am
Tuesday 15th May at 2pm
Wednesday 16th May at 11am
Thursday 17th May at 3pm
Friday 18th May at 2pm
Free, open to all. Pre-booking is essential however. To book contact the Lit and phil directly on 0191 232 0192.
The Lit& Phil is registered in England as a company, number: 6220953,
and as an Educational Charity, number 1120948.
Literary and Philosophical Society
23 Westgate Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne. NE1 1SE
Telephone: 0191 232 0192

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Bewick Blackwork at St.Mary's

Linda Morris is demonstrating blackwork using examples of Thomas Bewick's prints  for interpretation purposes on the following dates:
Apr. 29 - Cherryburn
May 1, 12, 19, 20, 26 & 27 - St. Mary's Heritage Centre, Gateshead
She writes
"I will be interpreting Thomas Bewick's prints in blackwork, primarily through textile postcards that I have designed based on his work. I am looking forward to this opportunity as I've always felt that much of his work would lend itself well to this medium."
There are several Bewick events in Gateshead this May to celebrate 200 years since Bewick moved to the town. More details here

British Birds vol 1 1797 p.202 “Old age and heedless youth. The background to the left is a view of the ruins of the Chapel (Roman Catholic) once belonging it is said to the Riddells – I remember part of the mansion also in ruins - The Chapel was set fire to by the mob – when Butcher Willy [Cumberland] led his troops thro’ Newcastle to Culloden. ” Jane Bewick Ms notes.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

AV Festival, As Slow as Possible

Thomas Bewick features in this review on the Quietus website.
Luke Turner visited the AV Festival in Newcastle and Gateshead.
"Meeting On The Desertshore: Sleazy Remembered At AV Festival"

BBRC Tattersfield review

RM Healey's review of Nigel Tattersfield's "The Complete Illustrative Work" appears on the website of the BBRC
" Nigel Tattersfield, whose three magnificent volumes are a monumental survey of Bewick’s full range of work, as artist, craftsman and commercial publisher, focuses his attention on the way in which Bewick’s success was largely due to his business instincts. While Donovan’s large-format and lavishly illustrated £15 ten-volume edition of hand-coloured plates sold slowly and made little money, Bewick knew that, at a time of war shortages and financial crises, a two-volume book costing a mere guinea (the equivalent of £1.05) was bound to do well. Not only was Bewick’s British Birds small enough to accompany the nature lover in the field, it was also likely to appeal to those who were more attracted by the artist’s commitment to the tradition of British woodblock printing, which he developed to a sublime degree."
Those of you without a copy may like to buy one through the link on the BBRC website.

Monday, 12 March 2012

What Zebra?

The current Tate Britain exhibition “The Romantics” includes “Zebra, Illustration to General History of Quadrupeds, published, 1790”.  But the Tate Zebra is far larger than the book’s, and furthermore it is referred to, slightly oddly, as “Relief Print” rather than ‘wood engraving’.  What is this displayed print?

Consulting Nigel Tattersfield’s recent work [THOMAS BEWICK The Complete Illustrative Work, The British Library, The Bibliographical Society, Oak Knoll Press 3 vols] we find three Zebras. The Zebra of the General History of Quadrupeds 1790  [TB1.1] is accompanied by a text full of “Romantic” flourish: the animal was viewed as “untameable”. A smaller Zebra appears in The Young Reader 1806 [TB2.686.] The Tate’s Zebra however is undoubtedly from Gilbert Pidcock’s Brief Description of the Principal Foreign Animals 1800 (Tattersfield TB2.53) The Zebra is reproduced on p.120 of vol 2 of Tattersfield. We’ve alerted the Tate curators to the slip.

Returning to the exhibition, in the nearby section of “Word and Image” there is alas no Bewick when in fact the combination was pioneered by him in the vignettes.  Those exhibited are sketch notes by Constable and others, which is hardly ‘word and image’ in a finished work of art as in, for example, Bewick’s “This Stone”.

But why is Bewick’s Zebra in an exhibition of Romanticism at all?  Although his position in regard to the movement can be debated, his drawing in the quadrupeds remained more classical.  Is it perhaps because Neo-Romantic artists sometimes included zebras in their work?  The Christopher Wood currently on display in the British Galleries does so, and his animal is close enough to Bewick’s to encourage us to wonder whether he did not copy it from him, especially because of the revived interest in Bewick in Wood’s time.

The Tate Romantics exhibition continues until 3rd June 2012.
Details here

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Cherryburn re-opens



Welcome Back Bewick Day!

Help the National Trust open up Thomas Bewick's birthplace after the winter with printing demonstrations, family printing and an 'In Bewick's Footsteps' walk (12 pm).
More Information: Cherryburn enquiries, 01207 541820,
Details on the Cherryburn website

Thursday, 23 February 2012

"the best tools, the best methods, the best aims"

"It is admittedly a time of experiment. We have to rediscover the best way of doing things - the best tools, the best methods, the best aims." Eric Gill, 1927
This exhibition celebrates the very generous donation by the Society of Wood Engravers (SWE) of their archive to the Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections. The archive includes material from the Society's foundation in 1920 and traces its development up to the present day.

16th January 2012 - 23rd March 2012

MMU Special Collections Gallery,
3rd Floor,
Sir Kenneth Green Library

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

From Teesside Steel to Rural Yorkshire: The Art of Viva Talbot

2 - 30 March.
This exhibition has been developed by Dr Joan Heggie, who has been researching the artist's life for several years and is currently compiling a catalogue of Talbot's work.
Included in this exhibition are the 'Steel Making' prints, probably created in the late 1930s or early 1940s, which illustrate in incredible detail the various process required to make steel.
Other prints reflect Talbot's passion for travel during the 1920s and 30s across Europe and to the West Indies, using the woodblock print as the medium for recording many of the sights she saw when abroad.
Viva Talbot's childhood and marital homes were in Yorkshire and some of the prints on display are of rural scenes and townscapes from around the county she loved.
Viva Talbot (1900-1983) created hundreds of woodblock prints during her lifetime, including the Steel Making series, but is not recognised within the reference books of 20th century British printmakers.
The exhibition will be held in Constantine Gallery, Middlesbrough Tower  full details here:
A public lecture about Viva Talbot will also be given by Dr Heggie on 19 March.
Details can be found on the University of Teeside website

Friday, 3 February 2012

Bewick's Memoir, Chapter One


from an audio recording of Bewick’s Memoir by Bob Browell.

Bewick wrote his Memoir at the age of seventy-five so that his children, and especially his daughter Jane, should come to know more of their family history.
 Bob Browell (1928-2009) was latterly a volunteer at Cherryburn, a lecturer on Thomas Bewick and a talented artist. You can read about his life and times here
This is the first of eleven passages read from the Memoir which appeared on a cassette tape in the late 1980s.

Chapter_One,_Bewick_at_Tynemouth.mp3 Listen on Posterous