Walter Crane (1845-1915)

   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.

Artwork in the Artists' Section