High Street (Victoria and Albert Museum)
J. M. Richards and Eric Ravilious
First published in 1938, this charming book introduces the British high street. Shops include the family butcher, the cheesemonger, the baker and confectioner and the oyster bar, as well as specialized establishments such as the plumassier, the clerical outfitter and the submarine engineer.
Only 2,000 copies of the original book were printed before the lithographic plates were destroyed in the London Blitz. As a result, it has become one of the most collectible of all artists’ books from this period. This beautiful facsimile edition features all 24 of Ravilious’s colour illustrations, and includes an essay by Gill Saunders, Senior Curator of Prints at the Victoria and Albert Museum, that sets the book in its historical context.
Eric Ravilious (1903–1942) was a painter, designer, illustrator and wood engraver, and he remains one of the best-known English artists of the 1930s. A close friend of Edward Bawden, he evoked the English landscape, culture and customs in his striking watercolours and ceramic designs. He died aged 39 while serving as Official War Artist. Sir James Maude Richards (1907–1992) was editor of Architectural Review from 1937 to 1971 and architectural correspondent of The Times for more than twenty years. He was also a prolific author of books about English and world architecture.