Henry George Walker (English)
1876 - 1932
Bootham Bar and York Minster, etching, pencil signed lower right,
inscribed lower left, 11.5" x 15.5" plate, 21.25" x 24.75" frame.
About the Etching: Very good condition; newly framed (Larsen Juhl - black) with double mat (black inner) and UV glass.
About the Artist: Henry George Walker was born in 1876 in the Birchfield area of Birmingham, where his father was in the coal trade. From 1897-1901 he attended the well-known Birmingham Municipal School of Art, now part of the University of Central England. He may have designed jewellery for a time after finishing his training there. By 1907 he was working as a freelance designer and commercial line artist from his own studio in his Birchfield home. The patriotic Bulldog in a naval cap probably represents one of his commercial commissions during the First World War, though it was used again at the beginning of the Second, several years after his death.
He became active as an etcher from around 1921, when he first exhibited at the Royal Birmingham Society. To make a living, he concentrated on popular architectural and topographical plates in various combinations of soft-ground etching, dry-point, and aquatint, both coloured and monochrome. The etchings are titled and signed in pencil Henry G.Walker, with H.G.W. or H.G.Walker on the plate itself, though he was known to friends and family as 'Harry'.
He produced over 150 designs, more than half of them of places in the South West. He was particularly successful with studies of harbours like Tenby and Brixham with their trawlers.
As the 'etching boom' of the 1920s began to recede with the onset of the Depression, he seems to have started to experiment with ink-and-wash designs for reproduction as coloured prints. They were chiefly of cats and dogs in humorous situations, somewhat in the manner of his slightly older contemporary Cecil Aldin.
Walker moved to Babbacombe in Devon in 1929, and set up his studio in a new house, but the venture was cut short by his early death in 1932. He was buried in Barton Cemetery Torquay, next to the grave of the Victorian sculptor Sir Bertram Mackennal. - from Dogs Monthly.
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