Sybil Andrews

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sybil Andrews
Sybil Andrews; Michaelmas 1935 Linocut in 3 colours on Japanese Mulberry Tissue(LowRes).JPG
Michaelmas - Sybil Andrews (1935)
Born Sybal Andrews
(1898-04-19)19 April 1898
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Died 21 December 1992(1992-12-21) (aged 94)
Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada
Nationality British
Education Heatherley School of Fine Art
Known for Linocut
Movement Modernism

Sybil Andrews (19 April 1898 – 21 December 1992) was an English printmaker best known for her modernist linocuts.

Life in England[edit]

Born in 1898 in Bury St Edmunds, Sybil Andrews was unable to attend art school after finishing secondary school as her family lacked the funds to pay for tuition. Andrews first apprenticed as a welder and worked at an aeroplane factory during World War I, where she helped in the development of the first all-metal aeroplane for the Bristol Welding Company.[1] During this period she took an art correspondence course and after the war returned to Bury St Edmunds where she was employed as an art teacher at Portland House School. She continued to practice art and met architect Cyril Power, who became a mentor figure, and then her partner until 1938. Between 1922-24 Andrews attended Heatherley's School of Fine Art in London.[2] In 1925 she was employed by Iain Macnab as the first secretary of The Grosvenor School of Modern Art, where she also attended Claude Flight's linocutting classes.[3] She began producing linocuts c. 1926 and one of her earliest prints Limehouse is in the British Museum Collection. Between 1928 and 1938 she exhibited linocuts extensively through shows organised by Flight.[4] With the beginning of World War II, Andrews resumed work as a welder for the British Power Company, constructing warships. Seven of Andrews' wartime depictions of ships are in the collection of the Royal Airforce Museum. Here she met Walter Morgan, whom she married in 1943.[2]

In England one of the largest collections in public ownership is held by St Edmundsbury Borough Council Heritage Service Bury St Edmunds. This collection includes a number of early water-colour paintings, executed while the artist was still living in Suffolk. Many of these works are digitised and publicly available to view at ehive.

Life in Canada[edit]

In 1947 she and Morgan moved to Canada and settled in Campbell River, British Columbia.[5] Sybil Andrews was elected to the Society of Canadian Painters, Etchers and Engravers in 1951 when her linocut Indian Dance was selected as the presentation print. In 1975, while working as a teacher and focusing on her practice, she completed one of her major works The Banner of St Edmund. It is hand embroidered in silks on linen and was first conceived, designed and begun in 1930. This banner now hangs in the Treasury of the St James Cathedral in the town of her birth.[6]

The Glenbow Museum in Canada holds copyright for Andrews' estate and houses the majority of her work with a collection of over 1000 examples, including the main body of her colour linocuts, original linoleum blocks, oil paintings and watercolour, drawings, drypoint etchings, sketchbooks, and personal papers. Digitised images can be viewed at Glenbow's online catalogue. In recent years her works have sold extremely well at auction with record prices being achieved, primarily within Canada.

In 2015 an exhibition was held at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Canada, A Study in Contrast: Sybil Andrews and Gwenda Morgan, comparing and contrasting fellow Grosvenor School artists. A full exhibition history is available in Sybil Andrews Linocuts.[7]

List of works[edit]


  • Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, USA
  • Virtual Museum of Canada
  • Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • Moyse's Hall Museum, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, UK
  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand
  • The Bank of New York Mellon Collection, USA (Private Collection)

Further reading[edit]

  • Coppel, Stephen. Linocuts of the Machine Age: Claude Flight and the Grosvenor School. Ashgate Pub Co.; October 1995 - ISBN 0-85967-945-4 and 9780859679459 for a catalogue raisonné of seven artists including all of Andrews linocuts.
  • Leaper, Hana. Sybil Andrews Linocuts. London: Lund Humphries, 2015. ISBN 9781848221802
  • Reeve, Christopher. Something to Splash About; Sybil Andrews in Suffolk. St Edmundsbury Museums 1991: Bury St Edmunds, ISBN 0-9501430-7-3
  • White, Peter. Sybil Andrews: Colour linocuts - Linogravures en Couleur. Glenbow Museum, 1982 for a catalogue raisonné of all Andrews linocuts.


  1. ^ "The Essential Line of Sybil Andrews.". Interface 5 (2). February 1982. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Parkin, Michael (1992-12-28). "Obituary: Sybil Andrews". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  4. ^ "Online publications - Sybil Andrews and the Grosvenor School Linocuts by Hana Leaper". Retrieved 2016-05-25. 
  5. ^ Toupin, Gilles. "Biography". Retrieved 2016-05-25. 
  6. ^ St Edmundsbury, Borough Council. "The Twentieth Century - 1990 - 1999 (1992).". Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  7. ^ Leaper, Hana (2015). Sybil Andrews Linocuts. London: Lund Humphries. pp. Appendix. ISBN 9781848221802. 

External links[edit]