Eric Gill’s un-adopted design for the British Empire Exhibition stamp of 1924
In May, stamp designer Brian Webb and independent fine art consultant Peyton Skipwith spoke at the BPMA about the work of some of the artists who have been employed by GPO and Royal Mail over the years. Their talk is now available as a podcast.
Well known names such as Bertram Mackennal, Eric Gill, Edward McKnight-Kauffer, Edward Bawden, Eric Ravillious and David Gentleman produced some of their earliest work for the GPO, designing stamps, posters and other items. Brian Webb and Peyton Skipwith discuss these designs, as well as other works by the same artists.
Bertram Mackennal’s “Seahorses” stamp design, issued 1913
David Gentleman’s role in revolutionising British stamp design is well known and has been discussed on this blog before, but Peyton Skipwith notes that many of the design difficulties highlighted by Gentleman in Essays in Stamp Design were also encountered by earlier artists. The problem of how to include the monarch’s head and the value of the stamp into the design was anticipated in Bertram Mackennal’s “Seahorses” stamps, he argues.
Other artists discussed include some of those who worked on the Millennium stamps, such as David Hockney, Eduardo Paolozzi, Peter Blake and Craigie Aicheson.
The podcast The Design is in the Post: Artists and the GPO is free to download. While we couldn’t include the designs discussed within the podcast, many of them can be found by searching our online catalogue.
Posted in Archive, Catalogue, Collection, Philatelic, Podcast
Tagged Alan Turing, Bertram Mackennal, Brian Webb, Craigie Aicheson, David Hockney, Eduardo Paolozzi, Edward Bawden, Edward McKnight Kauffer, Eric Gill, Eric Ravillious, Essays in Stamp Design, GPO, Peter Blake, Peyton Skipwith, Royal Mail, seahorses, stamp design
Artists and writers Brian Webb and Peyton Skipwith, who have penned a series of books exploring the work of notable British designers of the 20th Century, will speak at the BPMA on 20th May. The focus of their talk will be the many artists who have worked for the GPO, and how those artists helped to shape the GPO’s image.
The ‘pre-war’ artists Edward Bawden, Eric Ravilious, Barnett Freedman and Eric Gill will be covered in some length, along with well known stamp designers such as Edmund Dulac and Bertram Mackennal. Present day artists who worked on the Millennium stamps, David Hockney, Peter Blake, Craigie Aicheson, David Gentleman, Claire Melinsky and John Lawrence, will also be examined.
Brian Webb has kindly sent us some of the images he will show in the talk:
Magazine cover by Edward Bawden
Eric Ravilious’ un-adopted design for the Adhesive Stamp Centenary, 1940
One of David Gentleman’s illustrations from The Swiss Family Robinson, 1963
Millenium stamps: Freddie Mercury, 2000, designed by Peter Blake
Further information and booking details for The Design is in the Post – Artists and the GPO can be found on our website.
David Gentleman Design by Brian Webb and Peyton Skipwith is available from the BPMA Shop.
Posted in Events, Philatelic
Tagged adhesive postage stamp, adhesive stamps, Barnett Freedman, Bertram Mackennal, Brian Webb, Claire Melinsky, Craigie Aicheson, David Gentleman, David Hockney, design, Edmund Dulac, Edward Bawden, Eric Gill, Eric Ravilious, General Post Office, GPO, graphic design, John Lawrence, Peter Blake, Peyton Skipwith, Philatelic, philately, stamp design, Swiss Family Robinson