London by Edward Bawden is a huge retrospective at the Higgins Bedford museum, which taps into the archive of the artist’s work, bringing some of its 3000 pieces to light.
Bawden, an Essex man at heart, was drawn to the capital many times over his life, first as a student living in a bedsit with artist Eric Ravilious in Redcliffe road, Kensington.
Known by some as a ‘manure bed of genius’, the flat was a launch-pad for Bawden’s career, which took in commercial work for clients including Twinings, Westminster Bank, and The London Underground.
We’re particularly fond of his structural linocuts of London monuments and markets, and his engraving work.
Bawden created a study of Liverpool Street Station in the 1920s and returned to the site in the 1960s, but his most enduring relationship was with Kew Gardens.
The Higgins Bedford has acquired Bawden’s earliest depiction of it with help from The Art Fund. The unpublished manuscript, A General Guide to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Spring and Easter 1923, is a mocked-up guide book for Kew Gardens, and features a dedication on the first page to Ravilious.
Edward Bawden exhibition runs from 22 May – 23 October at The Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane, Bedford, MX40 3XD