Monday, 8 May 2017

King Penguin Books

The first King Penguin 'K1' was published in November 1939 and sold for one shilling each (5 new pence). The series ended in 1959 after 76 volumes had been produced.

K1 British Birds on Lake, River & Stream
with sixteen colour plates

The inspiration for the series, which was acknowledged by Allen Lane, came from the books published by the German publisher Insel. In an article about the Penguin Modern Painters, Lane said: 'The aim of the King Penguin is different. These have not been planned to coincide with the public's growing appreciation of art, but rather to appeal to the general liking for illustrated keepsakes of special projects. For this reason they are specialised ... often dealing with by no means broad subjects, such as the History of British Military Uniforms, The Stone Carvings at Southwell Cathedral, Poisonous Fungi and Romney Marsh. The original idea for King Penguins came from the small Insel-Verlag books which were published in Germany before the war. Why, we felt, should there not be a similar series of books in this country? The experiment, started a few weeks after war broke out, turned out to be successful. One of the most distinctive features of this series is their decorative covers.' 

Acknowledgements to for the images.
Artist research is my own.

1939 A Book of Roses

The designer, commercial artist, and book illustrator Marianne Mahler was brought up in Vienna, Austria, where she received her initial art education. In 1930s England she attended Royal Academy Schools. Mahler exhibited in Vienna, New York, Paris and London. She drew for  Studio and Vogue magazines. One of her designs, of a swinging 'mobile', available in three colour ways, was manufactured by David Whitehead Ltd. in 1952. She had also designed semi-abstract birds, vases, and bowls, printed on rayon.

1943 A Book of Lilies
cover by Marianne Mahler

1943 British Shells
cover by Marianne Mahler

William Grimmond (1884 – 1952) was born in Manchester, of landscapes, mainly in watercolour. He was also a designer and illustrator who studied at Manchester School of Art.

1943 Elizabethan Miniatures
cover by William Grimmond

1943 The Microcosm of London 
cover by William Grimmond

1948 British Military Uniforms 
cover by William Grimmond

1948 Wild Flowers of the Chalk
cover by William Grimmond

1950 Tuilpmania
cover by William Grimmond

1951 Ackermann's Cambridge
cover by William Grimmond

Charles Paine (1895 – 1967) was a versatile and prolific designer. His training started with an apprenticeship in stained glass. He also attended evening classes at Manchester School of Art, before moving to London to further his study. His time at the Royal college of Art however was interrupted by military service. After graduating, Paine left London to work for the Applied Art Department of Edinburgh College of Art. He then went on to work in Glasgow, designing stained glass for Guthrie and Wells. During the 1920s he designed textiles and posters for a wide range of clients. He also worked in America, as head of the Applied Arts Department of the Community Arts Association in Santa Barbara. In the 1930s he lived and worked in Welwyn Garden City, before moving to Jersey.

1943 Fishes of Britain's Rivers and Lakes
cover by Charles Paine

Sir Henry Maximilian "Max" Beerbohm (1872 – 1956) was an English essayist, parodist and caricaturist.  He first became known in the 1890s as a dandy and a humourist. He was the drama critic for the Saturday Review from 1898 until 1910, when he relocated to Rapallo, Italy. In his later years he was popular for his occasional radio broadcasts. Among his best-known works is his only novel, “Zuleika Dobson,” published in 1911. His caricatures, drawn usually in pen or pencil with muted watercolour tinting, are in many public collections.

1943 The Poets Corner
cover by Max Beerbohm

Katherine “Kay” Ambrose (1914 – 1971) was an author, artist and designer. She studied fine arts at Reading University 1933 – 1936, and again 1943 – 1944, when she won awards in drama, elocution and dance. She illustrated many books on ballet, and in 1950 wrote the definitive “Classical Dances and Costumes of India.” Between 1951 and 1962 she lived in Canada where, as assistant to Celia Franca, she contributed her talents to the then fledging National Ballet of Canada.

1944 English Ballet
cover by Katherine 'Kay' Ambrose

Thomas Alan Stephenson (1898-1961) was a marine biologist and artist. The British sea anemones (1928, 1935) and his essay on beauty in nature and art, Seashore life and pattern (1944 ), both of which he illustrated himself, are his best-known works. A participant with his wife Anne in the Great Barrier Reef Expedition of 1928-1929, the couple subsequently travelled world-wide studying rocky-shore zonation patterns, summarised eleven years after Stephenson's death in “Life between tidemarks on rocky shores” (1972)

1944 Seashore Life and Pattern
cover by Thomas Alan Stephenson

 Enid Crystal Dorothy Marx, RDI ( 1902 – 1998 ) was an English painter and designer, best known for her industrial textile designs for the London Transport Board and the Utility Furniture Scheme. Marx was the first female engraver to be designated as a Royal Designer for Industry.

1945 Birds of the Sea
cover by Enid Marx

1945 Some British Moths
cover by Enid Marx

1950 Early British Railways
cover by Enid Max

Sylvia Varley (no information found):

1945 Garden Birds
cover by Sylvia Varley

Joy Jarvis was a British textile designer. Many of her Mid-Century designs are held in the Victoria and Albert Museum collection in London.

1945 Poisonous Fungi
cover by Joy Jarvis

Clarke Hutton ( 1898-1984 ) was one of the great English book illustrators and teachers. He was born in London, and early in his life worked in stage design before deciding to become an artist. He studied at the Central School of Art and became an instructor there between 1930 and 1968.
(I do wonder of this was the first publication about "Pop Art").

1945 Popular Art in Britain
cover by Clarke Hutton

Painter and teacher Clifford Ellis was a graphic artist and illustrator, working mainly with his wife Rosemary. In collaboration they designed pieces for Shell, The General Post Office and London Transport. As well as this Clifford was also Principal of Corsham Court at the Bath Academy of Art.

1946 A Book of English Clocks
cover by Clifford and Rosemary Ellis

1947 Flowers of the Woods
cover by Clifford and Rosemary Ellis

One of author and designer Gwen White's many books on design, the best known of which is "A Book of Toys," whose penguin cover design appears in this work as an example of "wavy line" construction.

1946 A Book of Toys
cover by Gwen White

Noel Rooke ( 1881–1953 ) was an English wood engraver  and artist. His ideas and teaching made a major contribution to the revival of British wood engraving in the twentieth century. His father was Thomas Matthews Rooke, for many years the studio assistant of Edward Burne-Jones, and an accomplished artist in his own right.
Rooke studied in France at the Lycée de Chartres and then at the Godolphin School in Hammersmith, London. He completed his education at the Slade and the Central School of Arts and Crafts.

1946 Flowers of Marsh and Stream
cover by Noel Rooke

Hans Schwarz ( 1922 – 2003 ), painter, sculptor, illustrator and author, was born in Vienna and died in Greenwich, London. Schwarz is primarily remembered for his portraiture and his work is in many public and private collections including the National Portrait Gallery. He is also known for his paintings of people and places in Greenwich ( where he lived from 1970 ), Somerset ( where he had a house from 1965 ) and coastal villages in France and Spain. Earlier in his career he was a productive and successful graphic artist and sculptor

1947 Compliments of the Season
cover by Hans Schwarz

I found very little information on Mary Duncan, other than she has textile designs in the Victoria and Albert Museum collection in London.

1947 Spiders
cover by Mary W. Duncan

Kenneth Rowntree ( 1915 – 1997 ) was a British artist. A Quaker, he was a conscientious objector during the Second World War. He worked for the War Artists' Advisory Committee. He was one of the Great Bardfield Artists. 1939 Rowntree married architect Diana Rowntree née Buckley. In 2009 his studio was sold at auction in Newcastle. The Catalogue, which was written and researched by Steven Moore, included an introduction by Rowntree's friend and colleague John Milner.

1948 A Prospect of Wales
cover by Kenneth Rowntree

Paxton Chadwick hailed from Manchester but lived in Leiston, Suffolk, and often taught art at the nearby left-leaning alternative school, Summerhill – there's even a road named after him there; Paxton Chadwick Close. For a while Leiston was known as ‘Moscow on Sea‘, and Paxton was a prominent member of the thriving Communist party there before and after the war. Uniquely for a generally Conservative county, the Communists held council seats there by working closely with the local Labour Party, and Chadwick briefly served as the council chairman.
He supplemented his teaching work by illustrating and writing books for Penguin and later Cassell, drawing (literally) on his expert knowledge of the natural world to produce highly detailed and accurate studies of British flora and fauna. He died in 1961.

1949 British Reptiles and Amphibia
cover by Paxton Chadwick

1951 British Butterflies
cover by Paxton Chadwick

1951 The Crown Jewels
cover design by Paxton Chadwick

Edward Bawden (1903 – 1989) can be seen as a key artist in the Bardfield group. His long career spanned most of the twentieth century, and comfortably straddled boundaries and borders between the fine and applied arts, boundaries which are seen as so immovable today. Even before his appointment as an Official War Artist in 1940, Bawden had established a reputation as a designer, illustrator and painter. As well as these areas his output over the years include murals, posters, designs for wallpaper, ceramics, lithographic prints and watercolours.

1949 Life in an English Village
cover by Edward Bawden

Robin Tanner  (Wiltshire 1904 – 1988) was an English artist, etcher and printmaker. He followed in the visionary tradition of Samuel Palmer and English neo-romanticism. He lived in London, at KingtonLangley in Wiltshire, and in Bath. 

Tanner was part of the etching revival in England, but the market for etchings collapsed following the economic depression of 1929, and by the growing use of photography for illustration. He turned to teaching to earn his livelihood. His passion for teaching fine art to young children was infused into many English counties through his role as H.M. Inspector of Schools in primary schools from 1935 to 1964. Tanner believed that the study of natural things and the exploration of arts and crafts, music and poetry were essential for the development of teachers and children.

1950 Flowers of the Meadow
cover by Robin Tanner

1950 Greek Terracottas
cover by Robin Tanner

Cover artist unknown:

1950 Mosses by Paul Richards

Clifford Barry studied at the Royal College of Art during the 1930s where he met artist, writer and mural painter Barbara Jones. They married but the marriage didn’t last long. Clifford designed posters for London Transport in 1937.

1950 The Isle of Wight
cover by Clifford Barry

Sir Peter Shepheard (1913 – 2002) was born in Oxon, Birkenhead. He studied architecture at the Liverpool School of Architecture, and became a renowned architect, landscape artist and naturalist.

1951 A Book of Ducks
cover by Peter Shepheard

1955 Woodland Birds
cover by Peter Shepheard

Sarah Nechamkin (1917 London) from Russian lineage. Her parents were steeped in art, and her Uncle Boris was a successful portrait painter. Before enrolling at the Chelsea School of Art, where her style underwent its mature development, Sarah received lessons from Nan Youngman, a highly influential name in British art education

Her first steps as a professional artist were in graphic design and book illustration. Other jobs included a spell in the publications department of the National Gallery, teaching at Clapton Secondary School for Girls, and working as a nurse in the West London Hospital.

1952 Birds of La Plata
cover by Sarah Nechamkin

Peggy Jeremy (no information found):

1953 Animals in Staffordshire Pottery
cover by Peggy Jeremy
 Lynton Lamb RDI, FSRA, FSIA (1907 - 1977) was an English artist-designer, Author, lithographer and illustrator who was notable for his book jacket, poster and architectural decoration and postage stamp designs.

He was born the son of The Reverend Frederick Lamb in Nizambabad, India and grew up in London and was educated at Kingswood School, Bath, Somerset. He then worked in an Estate Agents office and attended night school at Camberwell School of Art before studying art full-time at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London.

1955 The Picture of Cricket
cover by Lynton Lamb

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