In this study day we examine the life and work of Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden and their friends and contemporaries, working as painters, printmakers and designers in the years before and after the Second World War, and as Official War Artists during the war itself.
Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden met at the Royal College of Art in London, in 1922 and became firm friends. Through the 1930s they became known for their skilful watercolours and innovative printmaking, as well as for making designs for London Transport and Wedgwood. We’ll see how these young artists fared as students at the Royal College of Art in the 1920s, and as they made their way in the world as designers, printmakers and painters. We’ll find out about the Recording Britain Project and the Official War Artists Scheme that came into play at the beginning of the Second World War, and meet some other war artists, including Paul Nash, John Piper and Evelyn Dunbar. With the end of the War, and the death of Eric Ravilious in 1942, we’ll follow the work of his friends and contemporaries as they form the Great Bardfield group of artists and work on new forms of design, culminating in The Festival of Britain in 1951.