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Malcolm Osborne RA RBA RE (1880-1963)


Malcolm Osborne, CBE RA RBC PRE (1880-1963)

Malcolm Osborne is best known as an etcher and engraver of portraits, figure subjects and townscapes. An influential teacher, he was head of the engraving school at the Royal College of Art for many years.

Malcolm Osborne was born at 2 Waterloo Place, Frome, Somerset, on 1 August 1880, the fifth of six children of Alfred Osborne, and his wife, Sarah (née Biggs), both of whom were teachers. The artistic talents of the children were encouraged by their parents and, of Malcolm’s brothers, Rex would become an illustrator and Fred a designer. Malcolm was educated in Bristol at the Merchant Venturers’ Technical College and then the School of Art, Queen’s Road.

In 1901, Malcolm Osborne moved to London with his brother, Harold, and, as the result of a Royal Exhibition Scholarship, he studied at the Royal College of Art, taking classes in black-and-white design from Professor Charles Lethaby and etching and engraving from Sir Frank Short. While there, he won the British Institute Scholarship for etching and, in 1904, published his first etching.

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