The School Prints: A Romantic Project

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This beautifully produced book tells the story of The School Prints series. It was dreamt up towards the end of WWII, when Brenda Rawnsley and her husband Derek had the idea of bringing contemporary art to young children by putting 'good' art into schools. Initially British artists were commissioned to produce one lithograph each, John Nash, Paul Nash, Henry Moore, John Tunnard, Barbara Jones, L.S Lowry and many more. These were issued in a series of standard-sized prints to which schools could subscribe.

A war widow at the age of 30, Brenda took up the project again immediately after the war and embarked on an even more ambitious project to sign up the great European artists of her day. She travelled extensively around France and signed up the likes of Picasso, Braque, Leger, Matisse and Dufy to contribute works.

Tragically the project was not a commercial success, many of the schools finding the works too avant-garde and modern. However The School Prints project should be seen in the context of attempts to democratise British art in the mid-20th century, as well as part of the renaissance of lithography that was taking place at the time.

Written by Ruth Artmonsky
Hardback: 126 pages
Publisher: Antique Collectors Club (2010)
Dimensions: 22.5 x 18 cm

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