Edward Bawden

Edward Bawden

Bawden was among Britain's most original mid-twentieth-century print and poster makers. In a career spanning over 60 years, he produced some of the most influential designs of the twentieth century, from advertising material for Shell to ceramics for the Orient Line. His was a characteristically eccentric English vision. Read more

Bawden was born in 1903 in Braintree, Essex, and from 1922-25 studied in London at the Royal College of Art under Paul Nash, along with his contemporary and friend Eric Ravilious. He illustrated books, designing patterned paper and borders, for Curwen Press during the 1920’s.

As an official war artist during the Second World War, Bawden was sent on a number of expeditions to the Middle East. His evocative water colour paintings in Iraq captured the unique life of the Marsh Arabs and their reed dwellings. He went on to illustrate many well-known books, including Aesop's Fables, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Tales of Troyand Life in an English Village.

Bawden was a versatile printmaker, using several techniques including woodcuts, line drawing, linocutting and copper engraving. Kew Gardens, Brighton, Liverpool Street Station, London Markets and London Monuments were subjects that attracted Bawden's eye, He also painted a number of successful murals, as well as designing wallpaper and ceramic wall tiles. His commercial work included illustrations and poster designs for London Transport, Westminster Bank and Twinings, and for Fortnum & Mason and Imperial Airways in the 1930s.

Bawden was awarded a CBE in 1946, and his work can be seen in many major galleries.


We are excited to hear an exhibition of Bawden's work 'London By Bawden' is on display at The Higgins Museum and Gallery in Bedford this summer. The Exhibition will run until October 26th and offers a compreshensive overview of Bawden’s work for London Underground, his large, structural linocuts of London monuments and London markets, and images of the Horse Guards and Kew Gardens. These remarkable images offer insight into how Bawden’s relationship with the city developed throughout his long career.  

James Russell, author of the popular Ravilious in Pictures series, will be giving a talk on Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious at the museum on Thursday 19th June. Booking is essential. Ravillious and Bawden met on the first day of Design School of the Royal College of Art and were friends until Ravillious's untimely death in 1942. Although very different in character, they shared a fascination for Georgian and Victorian art. They were delighted by the idiosyncratic and shared a determination to reinvent the English watercolour tradition. Complimentary drink included before the lecture. Copy and paste the link below into your browser to book tickets.