Walter Crane was born in
Liverpool on 15 August, 1845. He spent his early years in the South coast
of England and in London. He was apprenticed to W. J. Linton, the
engraver. Crane's first painting at the Royal Academy was The Lady of
Shalott in 1862. However, his strengths were in illustration and
design and by 1870, he was well-known as an illustrator of children's
books and as a ceramic designer for Wedgwood.
By the mid-1870s, he was designing wallpapers for Jeffrey
& Co. and tiles for Maw and Company. In 1888, Crane was instrumental
in the establishment of the Art and Crafts Exhibition Society and served
as its first President. William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, Lewis F. Day,
Heywood Sumner, Philip Webb and Onslow Ford were included in the founding
members of the Society.
He was appointed part time Director of Design at the
Manchester School of Art from 1893-6 and was Principal of the Royal
College of Art from 1897-8, continuing to be a member of the governing
council of that body thereafter. He wrote several important books on
decoration and design, including The Decorative Illustration of Books
in 1896 and Line and Form in 1900.
Walter Crane is remembered today as one of the most important
of all the children's book illustrators.
in the Artists' Section