In 1925 the artists Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious moved to the Essex village of Great Bardfield, at first sharing lodgings. Over the course of several years and encouraged by Bawden and Ravilious' work, other artists came to live in the village, forming a community of artists and designers that has continued to the present. Among the first to join them were the Rowntrees, Kenneth and Diana, and Michael Rothenstein and his wife Duffy Ayers. They were followed by John Aldridge, painter and designer of wallpapers (printed, like Bawden's papers, by the Curwen Press); Walter Hoyle, printmaker and also a wallpaper designer; Marianne Straub, textile designer and weaver; illustrators and printmakers Bernard Cheese and his wife Sheila Robinson. Though the careers of Bawden and Ravilious are well-documented, many of the other artists are less well-known but equally talented, such as George Chapman, Stanley Clifford-Smith and Laurence Scarfe.This book tells the story of Great Bardfield and its artists, and their famous 'open house' exhibitions, showing how the village and neighbouring landscape nurtured a distinctive style of art, design and illustration from the 1930s to the 1970s and beyond.
'..their shared artistic legacy is immediately obvious from this beautiful book.' --Country Life 16th 23rd December 2015'..Beautifully designed.' --Evening Standard 24th December 2015'..splendidly illustrated' -- The Spectator, 28th November 2015
Gill Saunders is Senior Curator in the Word & Image Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum, specialising in 20th-century and contemporary prints and drawings. Dr Malcolm Yorke is a freelance writer and art historian with a special interest in twentieth-century British art.