Edmund Hort New

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Kelmscott Manor, residence of William Morris

Edmund Hort New[1][2] (December 1871 – 1931) was an English artist, member of the Birmingham Group, and leading illustrator of his day.

Life and work[edit]

New was born in Evesham Worcestershire, a cousin of Thomas New. He studied at the Birmingham Municipal School of Art under Edward R. Taylor (headmaster of the school) and A. J. Gaskin, becoming known in the 1890s as an illustrator in the black-and-white style of the Arts and Crafts movement. He specialised in pen and ink drawings of rural and urban landscapes, old buildings and their interiors, architectural features, and also designed bookplates.

New provided illustrations for the English Illustrated Magazine and was commissioned by the Bodley Head publishing house (cofounded by John Lane) to work on critically acclaimed editions of books, such as The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton and The Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White.

In 1895, New was invited to meet William Morris at Kelmscott Manor, and went on to provide design work for the Kelmscott Press[3] as well as illustrating Morris's two-volume biography by J. W. Mackail. Between 1896 and 1914, New provided hundreds of illustrations for over 50 books for various publishers (see booklist below). He also taught drawing to T E Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia").[4]

In 1905, New moved from Evesham, the place of his birth, to Oxford where he started work on a series of drawings of the University of Oxford colleges, a project which was to occupy him for the rest of his life and remain unfinished. The drawings were engraved by Emery Walker and sold as the "New Loggan Prints".[5] He also provided further illustrations for a series of books called the "College monographs" (see below).

In 1921 New exhibited at the first exhibition of the Society of Graphic Art in London.[6]

New has been variously described as "deeply religious, scrupulous and patient in everything", "a life and a life's work of rare unity", "half artist and half saint", and "well read, especially in poetry and talked about art and literature with a sincerity that was very charming".[7] He lived throughout his life on a modest income and suffered from diabetes. He was a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers).[1]

Books illustrated by E. H. New[edit]

The "College Monographs" series (Edited and illustrated by E. H. New)


  1. ^ a b David Cox. "Edmund New's Diary of a Visit to Kelmscott Manor Archived 2010-07-11 at the Wayback Machine" (Journal of the William Morris Society 3.1, Spring 1974: 3-7).
  2. ^ Edmund Hort New Archived 2010-01-31 at the Wayback Machine (Biog. at the "Court barn Museum of Craft and design").
  3. ^ See William Morris (Biog at the "website of Bob Speel")
  4. ^ Geoffrey Syer. Morris was a Giant - the quest of T E Lawrence Archived 2010-07-11 at the Wayback Machine (Journal of the William Morris society, 10.4 (Spring 1994): 48-52.
  5. ^ "Loggan" was a reference to artist David Loggan (1635–1692) and his work "Oxonia illustrata".
  6. ^ "List of Members", Catalogue of the First Annual Exhibition of the Society of Graphic Art, London: Society of Graphic Art: 45–48, January 1921
  7. ^ See Jeremy Wilson's Lawrence of Arabia, the authorised biography, chapter 2 (1989).

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]