Striped Lily

Print
1946 (printed)
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Painter Gerald Cooper specialized in floral still-lifes later on in his career and this poster reflects this aspect of his work.

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.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Colour lithograph
Brief Description
Colour lithograph, 'Striped Lily' by Gerald Cooper, No. 12 in the School Prints series. London, 1946.
Physical Description
Still life lithograph showing a glass vase of pink, blue, white and red flowers and foliage set against a green background. The flowers include lilies, gladioli, peonies, pinks, morning glory, and the foliage includes cardune (artichoke stalk). The image is surrounded by a narrow white margin and pale green border. Lettered with the title, artist's name and serial number.
Dimensions
  • Height: 760mm
  • Width: 497mm
Production typeLimited edition
Marks and Inscriptions
  • Striped Lily by Gerald Cooper. S.P.12. (Bottom left margin)
  • Printed in England at The Baynard Press for School Prints Ltd, London. (Bottom right margin)
  • Gerald Cooper / 1946 (Bottom right of image, artist signature)
Credit line
Given by Messrs. School prints, Ltd
Historical context
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.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Painter Gerald Cooper specialized in floral still-lifes later on in his career and this poster reflects this aspect of his work.



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.
Bibliographic Reference
Victoria & Albert Museum Department of Engraving Illustration and Design & Department of Paintings, Accessions 1946. London: Published under the Authority of the Ministry of Education, 1949.
Other Number
SP12 - School Prints number
Collection
Accession Number
E.1904-1946

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record createdNovember 27, 2007
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