BAWDEN, Edward

1903 - 1989

Edward Bawden

Edward Bawden, was born at Braintree, Essex on 10 March 1903, only child of Edward Bawden (1871-1952), an ironmonger, and his wife Eleanor née Game, who married at Bury St Edmund's, Suffolk in 1902. Educated at Braintree High School from 1910, and began studying and copying illustrations in boys' and girls' magazines and of cats by Louis Wain (1860-1939) and Burne-Jones's (1833-1898) illustrations of Malory's 'Morte d'Arthur'. Edward later studied at the Friends' School at Saffron Walden, Essex and in 1918 the headmaster recommended him to study for one day a week at Cambridge School of Art and the following year, he attended Cambridge School of Art full-time until 1921. In 1922 awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Art School of Design in London until 1925, where he took a diploma in illustration and where one of his fellow student's and future collaborator was Eric Ravilious (1903-1942). Bawden taught design and book illustration at Goldsmiths, University of London 1928-1931, and went on to teach at the Royal College of Art 1930-1963, except during the Second World War, when an Official War Artist, serving in the Middle East and in France. In 1968 he became a tutor at the Royal Academy Schools and Senior Lecturer at Leicester College of Art and Design. By 1930 Bawden was working one day a week for the Curwen Press, as was Ravilious and their former tutor, Nash, producing illustrations for leading accounts such as London Transport, Westminster Bank, Twinings, Poole Potteries, Shell-Mex, the Folio Society, Chatto & Windus, and Penguin Books and around this time produced some of his most humorous and innovative work for Fortnum & Mason and Imperial Airways. He also worked for 'The Listener'. He married in 1932, Charlotte Epton, a potter who had been a fellow-student at the Royal College, and they had two children, Joanna and Richard Bawden, both of whom would become artists. They lived in a flat in Hammersmith for two years then moved to a Georgian house in Great Bardfield, Essex which became a miniature artists' colony in the 1930's and in 1945 he took as his studio, a building on the marsh at Dunwich, Suffolk and later returned to the village with John Nash. After the death of his wife in 1970, Bawden moved from Great Bardfield to the nearby town of Saffron Walden, where he continued to work until his death at home on 21 November 1989. Elected a full Royal Academician in 1956 and many other national art Societies.

Works by This Artist