Edward Bawden British painter, illustrator and graphic designer

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Edward Bawden was a British painter, illustrator, and graphic artist. Bawden studied at the Cambridge School of Art from 1919 to 1922 and at the Royal College of Art from 1922 to 1925, where Paul Nash was one of his teachers and Eric Ravilious was a close friend. 


His book illustrations make him best known as an Official War Artist during the Second World War (France and the Middle East). He painted numerous mural works (for example, Queen’s University, Belfast, 1965). Most of them were made in pen and ink in an incisive economic style. Still, he also experimented with linocut, lithography, and stencil.

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Bawden was elected to the Seven and Five Society. Between 1928-29, he collaborated with Eric Ravilious on murals for Morley College (destroyed during World War II and repainted by Bawden in 1958).

He designed advertising for clients including;

  • Westminster Bank and Shell-Mex
  • Booklets for Fortnum and Mason.¬†
  • Illustrated books for publishers including Faber and Faber, Nonesuch Press, and Kynoch Press.¬†
  • He designed borders, endpapers, and wall-papers produced by Cole.¬†
  • Posters ( often reproduced by linoleum-cut printing) for London Passenger Transport Board,¬†
  • Textiles for the Orient Steam Navigation; and¬†
  • Decorated earthenware for Wedgwood.¬†
  • Commissions included murals for Hull University, Pilkington, British Petroleum, ocean liners, and the British Pavilion VIP lounge.¬†
  • 1967 Montreal ‘Expo 67.’¬†
  • His tile decorations were installed on London Underground’s Victoria Line.¬†

Selection of his works

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Houses at Ironbridge 1956, 1957 by Edwards Bawden

Fortnum & Mason 1957 by Edwards Bawden

Design for Wrapping Paper (Deer in a Landscape)

This linocut design was made to be reproduced as wrapping paper. From the late 1950s, Bawden increasingly used linocuts instead of drawings in his graphic work. As a straightforward and cost-effective method of printing, Bawden found linocuts to be the most suitable way to make repeating patterns for wallpaper or wrapping paper, as one printing block could produce many shapes.

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