Society of Wood Engravers

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Eve, a modern wood engraving by Eric Gill, a founder member of the Society, 1929

The Society of Wood Engravers was founded in 1920 by the artists Noel Rooke and Robert Gibbings, who were the driving force behind the society, and Edward Gordon Craig, E.M.O'R. Dickey, Eric Gill, Philip Hagreen, Sydney Lee, John Nash, Lucien Pissarro, and Gwen Raverat.[1] The aim of the society has been to promote original white line wood engravings, designed and engraved by the artist, as opposed to the wood engravings of the nineteenth century, where skilled craftsmen engraved the design of the artist. The impetus behind this new philosophy was Rooke.

The Society went into abeyance during the 1960s, but was revived in 1984 by Hilary Paynter. It publishes an arts journal called Multiples.

The Annual Exhibition of the Society tours the UK. In November and December 2017, the 80th Annual Exhibition was held in Petworth, West Sussex.

Notable former Members include:


  1. ^ Joanna Selborne, ‘The Society of Wood Engravers: the early years’ in Craft History 1 (1988), published by Combined Arts.

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