Crane, Walter (1845-1915) by Scholes, Robert

Walter Crane (1845 – 1915)

Walter Crane was primarily a designer and book illustrator, specializing in children’s books. He was born in Liverpool on 15 August 1845, moving to London with his family in 1857. After a period during which he worked on illustrations for a poem of Tennyson, The Lady of Shalott, he became apprenticed to the famous wood engraver William James Linton and studied drawing in his spare time. In 1862 he exhibited at the Royal Academy. His first illustrated book, The New Forest, was published the following year. His paintings and book illustrations were influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites and by Japanese prints. With the designer, William Morris, he was a leader in the Arts and Crafts movement, which sought to reform the decorative arts. Crane founded the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1888, becoming their first President. The object of that body was to assist in the revival of the art and handicrafts currently occurring, and to draw attention to the craftsmen involved. The British Arts and Crafts Movement led to the American Craftsman style, which culminated in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.

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