Lumsden, Ernest S. (1883-1948) by Scholes, Robert

Ernest S. Lumsden (1883 – 1948) Born in London, Lumsden produced 336 original prints between 1905 and 1935, many of which are concerned with his travels, particularly in India. He drew inspiration from the work of Haden and Whistler. He was the author of what is still a major text on etching: . The Art Of Etching A Complete & Fully Illustrated Description Of Etching, Drypoint, Soft-Ground Etching Aquatint & Their Allied Arts, Together With Technical Notes Upon Their Own Work By Many Of Our Leading Etchers Of The Present Time He married Mabel Royds, and together they travelled through India and Tibet during Lumsden’s service in the Indian army in the first world war. She was a leading woodblock print maker and it was said that many of her prints were cut on Woolworth’s breadboards, not cherry wood, for the sake of economy. Both Ernest and Mabel are still very much alive as artists and their work is boght and sold frequently. They were teachers as well as artists. Some noted artists studied with them at one time or another, including the American Norma Bassett Hall. These words from an American site devoted to the Halls suggest the sort of influence they had: Possibly the most important impetus to Mrs. Hall’s development as a printmaker occurred during the Halls’ two-year trip to Europe between 1925 and 1927. In Edinburgh, she met and studied with Mable Royds, wife of the English etcher E.S. Lumsden. Royds introduced her to the Japanese method of printing woodcuts on rice paper with transparent watercolors, rather than the opaque oilbase colors she had employed up to that time. In the January 27, 1910 issue of Huntly Carter oberserved, “And there is Mr. Ernest S. Lumsden’s series of etchings at the Dowdesdell Galleries, very careful and delicate and revealing a nice feeling and sentiment. They should be seen.” (NA 6.17:308) The New Age

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