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Walter Crane RWS RI ROI (1845-1915)

Walter Crane, RWS RI ROI (1845-1915)

Though he considered himself primarily as a painter, Walter Crane was a wide-ranging artist and theorist who, allied to the Arts and Crafts Movement, developed as a significant and influential designer and illustrator. His groundbreaking ‘toy books’ of the 1860s and 1870s, printed by Edmund Evans, increasingly emulated the flat colour and asymmetrical compositions of fashionable Japanese prints. Later, William Morris employed Crane to work for the Kelmscott Press, and encouraged him to turn to Socialism.

Walter Crane was born in Liverpool on 15 August 1845, the son of the portrait painter, Thomas Crane. He grew up in Torquay and London. At the early age of 13 he made a set of coloured designs to Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott that were seen by the wood-engraver, William James Linton.

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