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Town Centre

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    UK (printed and published)

  • Date:

    1946 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ginger, Phyllis E., born 1907 - died 2005 (artist)
    Baynard Press (printer)
    School Prints Ltd. (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithograph

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.227-1948

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case MP, shelf 294, box A

Phyllis Ginger (1907-2005) was living near Bath at the time this print was made and chose Bristol Town Centre as her subject matter. Ginger is also known for her topographical watercolour landscapes painted as part of the Pilgrim Trust's 'Recording Britain' project, begun in 1939 with the purpose of recording aspects of British landscape that might be destroyed and lost under enemy bombing. Ginger was also a prolific book illustrator and designer, her work often featuring lively sketches of people in scenes of daily urban life.

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

Lithograph showing a brightly coloured town centre scene with double and single decker buses in blue and green, onto one of which people are running and clambering. In the middle of a wide street or square are two large trees and a car park. A number of horses and carts, traps and wagons, lorries, vans and cars of various sizes and shapes are in the street. The architecture of the surrounding buildings, which are in mauves, blues, yellows and oranges, is varied and typical of large towns, including two pediment Italianise buildings (museums?) to the left. Two church towers and a steeple can be seen in the background, along with two other tall buildings, one with a clock tower. There is a trompe l'oeil 'gold' frame as a border with ornate corners of angel wings and wheel.

Place of Origin

UK (printed and published)

Date

1946 (printed)

Artist/maker

Ginger, Phyllis E., born 1907 - died 2005 (artist)
Baynard Press (printer)
School Prints Ltd. (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Colour lithograph

Marks and inscriptions

Printed in England at THE BAYNARD PRESS for SCHOOL PRINTS LTD., London, S.P.7.
Bottom right margin

Phyllis Ginger
Bottom right of image, artist signature

TOWN CENTRE by Phyllis Ginger.

BUS / FARE STAGE / STOP
Bus stop

2 / QUEUE / OTHER / SIDE / OF / POST
Bus stop

LIFE & GENERAL
Above door on building to the left

GILLETTE
Advert on back of bus in front of trees

GO ON SAVING
Advert on side of same bus

EASTWILLE
Direction on back of bus to left

INSURANCE
Vertical down side of building to left (Life & General)

ROYAL MAIL
On side of van

Telegraph / Telephone / LESS
On side of Royal Mail van

THOS REYNOLDS & SONS LTD
Above door of building on right

REYNOLDS
Shop sign

REYNOLDS
Vertical shop sign

Dimensions

Height: 762 mm, Width: 495.3 mm

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 entitled "Town Centre" by Phyllis Ginger, 1946

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Taken from the departmental circulation registration 1948

Materials

Ink; Paper

Techniques

Lithography

Subjects depicted

Trucks; Banks; Horses; Vans; Information signs; Crowd scenes; Bus; Carts; Cars; Buildings; Trees; Churches; Identification signs; Buses

Categories

Prints; Transport

Production Type

Limited edition

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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