Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The tale of a wombat

A journey from Australia to Newcastle upon Tyne. 

There is a wombat in Newcastle upon Tyne. 

It was the first of its kind to leave Australia, setting sail 

(pickled in spirits) in August  1798.

Read all about it Animal Magic by Henry Nicolls http://www.theguardian.com/science/animal-magic

Saturday, 21 December 2013

British Library on Flickr

The British Library has made scans of historic illustrated material available on its Flickr pages. You can search the British Library Flickr collection. Searching for Thomas Bewick unearths illustrations of Robin Hood and images from The Fisher's Garland.

Each image is accompanied with a full citation such as shown here:

Title: "Robin Hood; a collection of all the ancient poems, songs, and ballads now extant relative to that ... outlaw. To which are prefixed historical anecdotes of his life. [Edited by J. Ritson. With wood engravings by Thomas Bewick.]"
Author: HOOD, Robin.
Contributor: BEWICK, John - Engraver
Shelfmark: "British Library HMNTS 992.k.16-17.", "British Library HMNTS 1078.h.1,2.", "British Library HMNTS 239.k.25,26.", "British Library HMNTS G.13039."
Page: 362
Place of Publishing: enk
Date of Publishing: 1795
Publisher: T. Egerton and J. Johnson
Issuance: monographic
Identifier: 001726472

You can find the Biritsh Library photostream by clicking here.
You can read Jonathan Jones's musings on digitisation on the Guardian website here.

Monday, 25 November 2013

A History of the North East in 100 Objects

On the new website you will find

Object Number 15
Thomas Bewick woodblock, 1800 - Cherryburn, National Trust

Object Number 37 (illustrated above)
Wombat, Vombatus ursinus, 1798 Great North Museum: Hancock, Tyne and Wear

Object Number 11
Northumbrian Small Pipes, about 1805 Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum, Northumberland

The Pipes also feature in a short video available here.

There is also a 100 Places website. Look out for Cherryburn at Number 19

Wombat, Vombatus ursinus, 1798

Great North Museum: Hancock, Tyne and Wear
- See more at: http://www.100objectsne.co.uk/objects/view/37#sthash.EnjmeT6j.dpuf
Thomas Bewick woodblock, 1800
Thomas Bewick woodblock, 1800
Thomas Bewick woodblock, 1800

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Hilary Paynter Exhibitions

Wood engraver and Bewick Society member, Hilary Paynter has a retrospective exhibition of her engravings opening this weekend at Hereford Museum and Art Gallery.
The exhibition runs from 9th November to 9th January 2014. Details here.

She will also be exhibiting her work in Barnstaple at the new White Moose Gallery (http://www.whitemoose.co.uk) with the potter Kevin Green: The Art of Giving: runs from 29th November to 8th January. Details here.

Finally, if you cannot make it to Hereford or Barnstaple, she is also exhibiting in Exeter at the newly refurbished Royal Albert Memorial Museum.
Four South West Engravers: From 7th December 2013 to 23rd March 2014

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Books on Tyne

Leading Bewick scholar Nigel Tattersfield is taking part in an event at the Literary and Philosophical Society as part of the Books on Tyne Festival.

The History of Newcastle as a Literary City: Three Short Talks
Monday, 25 November 2013
2:00pm until 4:00pm
Lit and Phil   

Angela McShane (Victoria and Albert Museum) on portrayals of Newcastle in popular print of the 17th century and the emergence of Newcastle's own publishing industry in the 17th/18th centuries.

Nigel Tattersfield (Independent Scholar) on the leading Newcastle publisher of the 18th century, Thomas Saint.

Jon Mee (York University) on the growth of public libraries and reading rooms in Newcastle in the 18th century with a particular emphasis on the foundation of the Lit and Phil.

The event is chaired by Matthew Grenby, professor of 18th-Century Studies in the School of English Literature at Newcastle University.

This event is supported by Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Newcastle University.
Free refreshments.

For Details click here

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Stowmarket Family Printing Days

At the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket, Suffolk, families can have a go at making printing blocks and printing with found objects, to coincide with a new exhibition on engraver and illustrator Thomas Bewick (29-31 Oct, adults £6.90, children free during half-term,eastanglianlife.org.uk).

Man the presses! On Tuesday 29th of October and Thursday 31st of October the museum will be hosting a family friendly printing day with our resident printer Mr Pink to coincide with the opening on the 26th of October of our brand new exhibition ‘An Anecdotal Eye – The Work of Thomas Bewick’. The exhibition is a fascinating look at the unique work of Thomas Bewick (1753-1828), one of Britain’s greatest engravers and illustrators. Drop in, 10am – 3pm.

Kids go free this half term with a paying accompanying adult (no more than 3 children per adult) 
For more information please contact Jo Rooks on 01449 612229 orjo.rooks@eastanglianlife.org.uk for more information.

Monday, 21 October 2013

An Anecdotal Eye: the work of Thomas Bewick

Thomas Bewick's work on show in East Anglia.
 The unique work of Thomas Bewick (1753-1828), one of Britain’s greatest engravers and illustrators will be on show at a special exhibition at the Museum of East Anglian Life this Autumn and Winter.
A countryman at heart, Bewick loved the life and lore of the fields, the farms and rivers,  finding much to cherish in the recording of this lore. His observations of animals and birds are exquisite illustrations, sensitively portraying the creatures in their natural habitat.
The exhibition will run from Saturday 26th October 2013 until Sunday 23rd February 2014 and will be free of charge.
 Museum of East Anglian Life, Abbot's Hall.
The Museum of East Anglian Life is in Iliffe Way, opposite the ASDA supermarket in the centre of Stowmarket, Suffolk.
Monday to Saturday 10-5pm
Sunday 11-5pm
Website for further details.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

76th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers

12th September – 20th October 2013:

6 King Street
Oxford OX2 6DP
Telephone 07709 239 322
Email artjericho@hotmail.co.uk
Website www.artjericho.com

Open Wednesday – Saturday 10.00am – 5.00pm
Sunday 1.00pm – 5.00pm
Art Jericho Gallery

Thursday, 12 September 2013


Saturday 14 September 2013 at 2pm
A Joint Bewick Society and Natural History Society of Northumbria Lecture.

A lecture by Professor Diana Donald

Bewick’s earthy view of rural life seems to be almost a parody of the idealising scenes produced by many painters of his time. Yet the naturalism of these images masks unexpected tensions: they express Bewick’s troubled response to the great agricultural changes then taking place – changes which his own friends promoted.

Diana Donald is a retired Professor of Art History and Head of the Department of History of Art and Design at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is the author of many books including Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science and the Visual Arts (2009) and Picturing Animals in Britain, 1750 - 1850 (2007).
Her latest book The Art of Thomas Bewick will be published by Reaktion Books in June 2013 and Diana’s illustrated lecture will be based on her research for the book.

Date and time: Saturday 14 September at 2.00pm.
Venue: The Clore Lecture Theatre, Ground Floor Hancock Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4PT.
Admission: Free
Contact: June Holmes at the Natural History Society of Northumbria, Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4PT. Tel no. 0191 222 5834 or e-mail bewick.society@newcastle.ac.uk

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Bewick Prize

The winner of the Bewick Prize for 2013 is Rosamund Fowler for her print Tulip Vase (16x8cm illustrated).
The prize is awarded annually at the Society of Wood Engravers exhibition. Selection has now taken place. The 76th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers will run 12th September 2013 – 20th October 2013 at Art Jericho, 6 King Street, Oxford OX2 6DF

You can see more of Rosamund's work in wood engraving and illustration on her website  www.rosamundfowler.co.uk

Born in Edinburgh in 1963 she grew up in the North East of England. She trained at Edinburgh College of Art and graduated in 1985 with a BA Hons in Illustration and Design. She worked for many years as a professional illustrator before trying her hand at wood engraving. The medium suits her delight in fine detail and she has become a regular exhibitor with the Society of Wood Engravers.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Jane Eyre

Colchester-based book artist  Anna Johnson has produced a Bewick illustrated edition of Jane Eyre. Her work will be on show at the Minories Art Gallery in Colchester from 27th July as part of the Masters at The Minories 2013 show of work by MA Final Year Students.
The exhibition runs from 27.07.2013 to 24.08.2013.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Bewick Collector

Interesting post from Cambridge Library Collection Blog.

"The Revd Thomas Hugo (1820–76) was not very successful in his clerical career – he spent ten years as the perpetual curate of the chapel of All Saints within the parish of St Botolph without Bishopsgate in London, a positively Trollopian-sounding cure of souls. This might have been because he made no secret of his high-church views, or because he spent a lot of time in non-clerical pursuits. He was a different times a member of the British Archaeological Association, the Society of Antiquaries of London, the Linnean Society, and the Royal Society of Literature, and he contributed regularly to the publications of all these learned societies. But his chief obsession was for the woodcuts of Thomas Bewick."

"Bewick died in 1828, leaving his four children well provided for and a large number of apprentices (including his younger brother and his only son) secure in their craft. Is he the greatest wood engraver ever? Certainly, in his day he was famous at all levels of society, not just – or even mostly – for his books but for the exquisite ‘jobbing’ work he produced...."
Click Here for the article.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

John Laws Scrapbook

Laws page 060 by Bewick Society
Laws page 060, a photo by Bewick Society on Flickr.
You can now see a full slideshow of images of the John Laws Scrapbook on Flickr. Click the image to view page 60.

The full set has 108 images featuring John Laws (1765 -1844) collection of Bewick workshop material.

The Scrapbook or Pattern Book is currently on loan to the Laing Art Gallery from the Angus family.
The Bewick Society has helped to conserve the book in honour of our late Treasurer Alan Angus (1920-2002).
Work on the book was completed recently by Tim Gradon Bookbinder.
A full description of the Scrapbook project and the life of John Laws will follow in a forthcoming Cherryburn Times.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Hancocks, Scientists in the Studio

A new exhibition ‘The Hancocks: Scientists in the Studio’ will be the first display of its kind to explain the name above the Great North Museum: Hancock door by introducing the people of the North East to John, Albany and Mary Jane Hancock.
A group of British and international masters students from Newcastle University’s Museum Studies programme have worked with the Great North Museum: Hancock and the Natural History Society of Northumbria on this project that will be launched in the Living Planet Gallery of the Great North Museum: Hancock on the 23rd April and will run for four weeks. (23 Apr - 21 May 13)
Details here
Tumblr here.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Children's Book Publishing in the Hand-Press Period (c.1740-1840): a symposium

Saturday 11 May 2013
Few would disagree that the development of children's literature owes as much to the trade through which the books and other printed materials were generated as it does to the authors and illustrators. But this side of the early history of children's literature has not been as thoroughly investigated as might be hoped. For this reason, the Children’s Books History Society (CBHS) is hosting a one-day symposium to examine the history of publishing for children in the long-eighteenth century. The symposium aims both to outline ongoing research into the earliest period of children's book publishing and to share problems arising therefrom.
The symposium will include papers by:
Andrea Immel, looking at John Newbery;
David Stoker, looking at John Marshall;
Jill Shefrin, looking at the non-book commodities produced by children’s publishers;
Nigel Tattersfield, looking at Thomas Saint of Newcastle;
Matthew Grenby, looking at William Godwin’s ‘Juvenile Library’;
Brian Alderson, offering concluding remarks.
Time has been set aside in the programme for questions and discussion.
The symposium will take place at 10.30am – 4.30 pm on Saturday 11 May 2013 at St Paul’s Girls’ School, Brook Green, Hammersmith, London, W6 7BS.
A registration fee of £25 for CBHS Members and £30 for non-members will be payable.
For more information, or to register in advance, please contact the CBHS secretary, Robert Kirkpatrick (020-8567-4521, rkirkpatrick.molesworth@virgin.net). Registration and payment can be made in advance (preferable) or on the day.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Bewick Way

Gateshead names new route after Thomas Bewick.

"A new pedestrian route from Jackson Street into the heart of the new shopping development will be called Bewick Way in recognition of one of Gateshead’s 18th century cultural heroes, Thomas Bewick."
 see Familiar Names for New Town Centre

Council Leader Mick Henry says: “There has taken a lot of consulting and a lot of negotiating to ensure that our new town centre is something that we can be proud of. We wanted somewhere that matched our expectations and improved the existing shopping experience, and I’m confident we have done that.
“However, it is also important that we recognise something of what was here before and we have tried to do that in the names we have chosen for the development. The choice of Bewick, Trinity and Ellison for street names makes a direct connection with Gateshead’s heritage and ensures that this bold new development shows not only where Gateshead is going but also where we have come from.”

Thomas Bewick moved to Gateshead two hundred and one years ago in 1812. He lived there until his death in 1828. Bewick's earlier tail-piece (illustrated) featuring St. Edmund's Chapel bears the legend: " Vanitas, Vanitatum Omnia Vanitas."

Friday, 15 March 2013

Print & Book making @ 36 Lime Street with Theresa Easton

Sunday 24th March  or

Saturday 13th April
There are still a few places left on the  Print & Book Binding workshops @36 Lime Street with Theresa Easton, the workshops will include the opportunity to buy a simple bookbinding pack with all the materials and tools to get you started.  Each day long workshop introduces you to a selection of simple printmaking techniques onto paper, that can be folded and stitched into a selection of hand made books suitable for your own project or a a series of bespoke gifts.
'Hemy' Theresa Easton & Ian Horn
The workshop is ideal for those with no experience and those needing a refresher course.  Bring a project idea along or take part in the numerous possibilities that can produce your own unique books.
To Book: see booking form attached, BACS payment available on request
Email: theresa_easton@yahoo.co.uk Tel: 07981381830
Ouseburn Warehouse & Studios
36 Lime Street, Ouseburn
Newcastle, NE1 2PQ UK
36 Lime Street, Ouseburn Valley, the cultural quarter of Newcastle and a stones throw away from Gateshead based, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
If you can't make either of these dates, why not sign up to the blog and receive regular updates of future print related workshops, including Print & Book Binding?  If you no longer wish to receive emails from this address, please respond with REMOVE in the subject.
Theresa Easton
Ouseburn Warehouse 
Workshops & Studio
36 Lime Street
00 44 (0)7981381830

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Sue Scullard

Video Demonstration by Sue Scullard - the winner of the Bewick Prize, 2012.
Visit her website here

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Tales of Antiquarian Adventure

Visit the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne’s new exhibition Tales of Antiquarian Adventure now on at the Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle.
On display is the wood block engraving of the Society’s seal by Thomas Bewick, formerly used in the Society’s publications.
Read more about the seal here

Tales of Antiquarian Adventure

16 February - 30 April 2013
Tales of Antiquarian Adventure celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne, the oldest provincial antiquarian society in the UK. 
When John Bell gathered his friends at the Turk’s Head in Newcastle’s Bigg Market in 1813 to decide how to study the antiquities of the area, little did he realise that the society he formed would still be going strong 200 years later and that it would have played such a significant role in the life of the North East.
In the last 200 years, the society has preserved and protected archaeological remains, historic buildings and artefacts, published books and journals, funded research and maintained a library.
This exhibition showcases the society’s world-class collections, from the Palaeolithic to the present day, and explores its vast history and many achievements.

Northern Print need your vote

The Connect10 Vote: You choose where Mat Collishaw goes for Museums at Night 2013

Museums at Night 2013 takes place in hundreds of museums, galleries and heritage sites across the UK during the evenings of Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 16-18.

The Connect10 competition is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

BACKLIT, Nottingham: an experimental event in Collishaw’s home town in which the artist will prepare and produce his work in the main gallery with public participation. Venue info here.

Lanhydrock House, Bodmin, Cornwall: a Night of Victorian visual illusions with a carnival atmosphere. Victorian characters will lead visitors to a workshop where Mat and his assistants will hlep to create a zoetrope. Venue info here.

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral: a one-night only visitor experience in the UK’s largest cathedral incorporating a light projection, music and participation in a 3D human zoetrope. Venue info here.

Northern Print, Newcastle: a participatory workshop with Mat and his assistants alongside an event about the celebrated naturalist and wood-engraver Thomas Bewick (1753-1828). Venue info here. 

Cast your vote here: http://bit.ly/15PLJJh

Mat Collishaw

The photographer and video innovator is known for his hard-hitting images of beauty and cruelty, he has created adult zoetropes, photographed himself trying to catch fairies, and used phosphorescent paint to convey the brief lives of Victorian street children.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Bewick's Ark

From the Newcastle City Library website:
‘Writing North East: Coalfields and Quaysides’ is a new exhibition at City Library which explores the representation of place in North East literature. Unseen material from local authors, including David Almond and Linda France, will be showcased alongside literary jewels from the British Library. Members of the Skimstone Young Artist Collective have created ‘Bewick’s Ark’ especially for the exhibition. Share your views and favourite North East authors or locations on Twitter using #writingNE.
Visit on level 6 of City Library until 31 July 2013.
  In partnership with the British Library and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Bewick’s Nature Print

Read all about Iain Bain's Bewick Christmas cards on the Frames of Reference Blog.
"Frames of Reference was started in 2011 by Chris Hamer and Richard Wilson as an online extension of The Rowley Gallery. It was to be a place to hang words as well as pictures, where friends and relations and associates could share their enthusiasms and perhaps make new connections."

Friends of the Laing Art Gallery- Object of the Month

05 Jan - 23 Feb 13
January 2013, every Saturday, 11am – 11.30am
The World of Thomas Bewick
Location: Northern Spirit Gallery
In-gallery talk by a Friends of the Laing Art Gallery guide

February 2013, every Saturday, 11am – 11.30am
Beilby Glass
Location: Northern Spirit Gallery
In-gallery talk by a Friends of the Laing Art Gallery guide
The Friends of the Laing Art Gallery (FLAG) support the Gallery through events and fund-raising. Details on membership are available here or from the Friends desk at the Laing.

Monday, 21 January 2013

The Snowman

‘The Snowman’
transfer drawing by Robert Johnson for the tail-piece by Bewick in British Birds vol I, 1797, p.78.

Robert Johnson (1771-1796)

He seems to have started in the Bewick workshop in 1784, though he was technically too young to be apprenticed. It seems he did not like wood–engraving, much preferring drawing and copper–engraving. His mother had been a servant at Cherryburn in her younger days. His health was problematic, which led to him being sent out to draw in the open air. Bewick prized his drawings and would give him a rough sketch to work up to a coloured drawing, which would then be cut by Bewick himself or by another apprentice. He completed his apprenticeship in August, 1794 and died just over a year later in Scotland. It is appropriate to show the drawings here rather than the wood–engravings cut from them. The originals are in the collections of the British Museum.

Monday, 14 January 2013


The most recent CD releases from guitarist Michael Chapman both feature Bewick images: the peacock and the elephant.
You can read about Chapman's new music here: http://www.blastfirstpetite.com/michael-chapman.html
"Even if you're familiar with the Yorkshire born composer, singer, guitarist and self confessed maverick troubadour Michael Chapman, this recording comes as something of a shock. The music here is unlike anything he has crafted before – he casts adrift his skills as a songwriter and focuses on improvisation." 
You can listen to a preview of Pachyderm here: https://soundcloud.com/experimedia/michael-chapman-pachyderm
Chapman's Wikipedia page is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Chapman_(singer)