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Punch and Judy

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    London (printed)

  • Date:

    1943 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Lowry, L. S., born 1887 - died 1976 (artist)
    Baynard Press (printer)
    School Prints Ltd. (commissioned by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithograph

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Frances Marks

  • Museum number:

    E.245-2006

  • 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 grey with some pink, and red, blue, browns in costumes. It shows a street scene in an industiral town with churchl in the background and a house to the left behind railings. A large number of people, some with prams and some on benches, populate the foregroud. The punch and judy box is under a shelter in front of a large building, the shelter is open on two sides and held up by iron pillars. The image is surrrounded by a pink border with a darker pink edge.

Place of Origin

London (printed)

Date

1943 (printed)

Artist/maker

Lowry, L. S., born 1887 - died 1976 (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

L.S. LOWRY 1943
Bottom left of image, artist signature

"Punch and Judy" by L.S. Lowry (British). S.P.21

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, 'Punch and Judy', L.S. Lowry, School Prints series; London, 1943

Materials

Ink; Paper

Techniques

Lithography

Subjects depicted

Prams; Church; Benches; Crowd scenes; Punch and Judy hut; Buildings; House; Railings

Categories

Prints

Production Type

Limited edition

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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