A bit of a continuing theme this week. I am going through some of my favourite print makers, especially those who had mastered the art of woodblock printing. Here is another Sussex based art living little way down the coast from Eric Slater, I wonder if they knew each other. Neither artist used the key lines as often seen in Japanese art. However, their subject matter appear to be completely different, as from the small selections I have seen. Eric Slater's prints are predominately landscapes with some floral still life studies whilst Rigden-Read concentrates of figural studies and floral still lifes, few landscapes. A few years ago when I tried researching him I found very little, but now with the power of googling all sorts of information has crept out.
Arthur Ridgen Read (1879-1955) was born in Bermondsey, London. He was one of 5 boys. His father, also Arthur Rigden Read (b1855) was a Postmaster and his mother was Elizabeth. Although christened Arthur Robert he used the name Rigden. He lived in The Dower House, Winchelsea, Sussex. There is an interesting discussion board online about him, which fills in a few gaps in the story. It does confirm that he travelled including visiting Japan, perhaps during his study. Whilst there he was awarded a gold medal his donations or help during a large scale tragedy.
He is recorded as exhibiting between 1923 and 1940. Including at;
Beaux Arts Gallery
Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts
Walker Gallery, Liverpool
Royal Scottish Soc of Painters in Water colours
His prints are usually signed, titled and numbered in pencil.
His work must have been considered worthy in his day as a version of "Roses" print is illustrated in the 1927 book "The Woodcut of To-Day at Home and Abroad" page 46 by the art critic Malcolm C Salaman.
The version shown on the right is probably a pre edition proof as it varies in detail to that shown in the book.
Online references state in the Colour Print Club Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1,1931 he is listed as the first member and as a vice-president of the club together with, William Giles, Sidney Lee, William Monk, Allen W. Seaby, Y. Urushibara and E. A. Verpilleux. He is also listed as a Member of the Society of Graver-Printers in Colour.
His work is represent in many private and public collections, including 10 prints in the British Museum Collection, Auckland Art Gallery (5 works) and the Brooklyn Museum.
There are quite a few references to titles of prints and it would be possible to create an inventory. Perhaps for the next posting ?