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Harlequinade

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    London (printed)

  • Date:

    1946 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hutton, Clarke, born 1898 - died 1966 (artist)
    Baynard Press (printer)
    School Prints Ltd. (commissioned by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithograph

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Frances Marks

  • Museum number:

    E.244-2006

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MB2G, shelf DR112, box MP343

Set up in 1945 by Brenda Rawnsley, the School Prints scheme commissioned well-known artists to create lithographs, which would then be printed in large numbers and sold cheaply to schools for display in classrooms; the aim was to give 'school children an understanding of contemporary art'. Each lithograph had a drawn frame so that the print could be pinned to the wall. In the spirit of post-war optimism, artists responded enthusiastically. The scheme was a unique attempt at giving children access to original works of art in a period of austerity but ended in 1949 because of financial problems. Many of the prints depict a familiar world of everyday rural or urban life, some presenting a version of the pastoral idyll and others scenes of entertainment or leisure.

Physical description

Colour lithograph in predominantly blues and oranges depicting a stage set with and arched area to the right, with a sign labelled 'Fire Station', and a street scene to the left. On stage are a number of dancers in bright costume, a 'policeman' with truncheon, a man in green, red and yellow with striped tights and holding a croquet stick, a clown in red and white with yellow tights and stripes, crescents, stars and circles on his costume, a masked swordsman in red, blue, yellow and pink harlequin costume and red hat, and a ballet dancer in red and yellow wide-skirted dress. A poodle is also dancing and wears a pink ribbon in its hair. The clown is holding a pig and fish in his hands and has sausages and a white duck in his pocket. A woman in a pink spotted blouse empties water from a jug out of the upstairs window of a fishmonger's shop. The border is patterned with pink scribbles, and green shading along two edges.

Place of Origin

London (printed)

Date

1946 (printed)

Artist/maker

Hutton, Clarke, born 1898 - died 1966 (artist)
Baynard Press (printer)
School Prints Ltd. (commissioned by)

Materials and Techniques

Colour lithograph

Marks and inscriptions

Printed in England at The Baynard Press for School Prints Ltd, London.
Bottom right margin

Clarke Hutton
Bottom left of image, artist signature

Harlequinade by Clarke Hutton. S.P.13
Bottom left margin

FIRE STATION
Red rign under arch

A [?]nan fishmonger
Shop sign

Dimensions

Height: 497 mm, Width: 760 mm

Object history note

Gift of Frances Marks, from her late father's collection

Historical context note

School Prints series was published in the 1940s. The idea behind the series was to commission established artists to create lithographs which could be editioned in very large numbers and sold cheaply to schools, for display in corridors, classrooms and assembly halls. The pupils would enjoy direct contact with new works of art. The entrepreneur, Mrs Brenda Rawnsley, wrote: 'We are producing a series of auto-lithographs, four for each term, for use in schools, as a means of giving school children an understanding of contemporary art.'

In the spirit of post-war optimism, the artists responded enthusiastically, and submitted sketches to the selection committee, chaired by Herbert Read, which included influential R.R. Tomlinson, London County Council Senior Inspector of Art. Many of the prints depict a familiar world of everyday rural or urban life, some presenting a version of the pastoral idyll (John Nash 'Harvesting') and others scenes of festivity (Barbara Jones 'Fairground'), entertainment (L.S. Lowry 'Punch and Judy') or leisure (John Tunnard's surrealist 'Holiday'). Each lithograph had a drawn frame around the image so that the print could be pinned to the wall.

Descriptive line

Colour lithograph, 'Harlequinade', Clarke Hutton, School Prints series; London, 1946

Materials

Ink; Paper

Techniques

Lithography

Subjects depicted

Rapier; Fish; Container; Dancers; Truncheon; Harlequin; Croquet mallet; Clown; Ballet dancer; Policeman; Duck; Woman; Stage setting; Pig; Costumes; Poodle; Sausages; Identification signs

Categories

Prints

Production Type

Limited edition

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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