Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Robert Austin (1895-1973)   BIOGRAPHY

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Book Plate for the Prime Ministers Library (large version), 1931
Unmounted (ref: 5668)
Line engraving
printed from original copper plate:  7 x 4 1/4 in. (17.3 x 10.8 cm.), (cancelled)

 


Austin designed and engraved many bookplates, the most notable of which was made for the Prime Minister's Library at 10 Downing Street, instituted by Ramsay MacDonald in 1931.  Depicting Britains most famous front door, Austin's engraving followed a design by Design by Sir William Rothenstein (1873-1945), who was at the time Principal of the RCA.

Other official commissions for the government included Austins acting as advisor to the Bank of England, between 1956 - 1961, in which capacity he designed the one pound and ten shilling notes issued in 1960 and 1961 respectively.  These were the first bank of England notes to bear the monarch's portrait.



Robert Austin (1895-1973)

Printmaker and draughtsman, born in Leicester. He studied at the School of Art there and at the Royal College of Art, 1914-16 and 1919-22, winning the Rome Scholarship for engraving in the latter year. He taught engraving at the Royal College of Art, 1927-44, becoming Professor in the Department of Graphic Design, 1948-55. Showed with RWS, of which he was a member and President; RE, of which he was a member; and the RA, to which he was elected in 1949. Austin was a meticulous craftsman-engraver and a vigorous draughtsman, as his series of drawings of Women's Auxiliary Air Force and ballooning activities done during World War II shows. The Tate Gallery holds his work.

The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, organised an exhibition of his work in 1980.

More recently he was the subject of two shows at the Fine Art Society plc (2001 and 2002), the latter organised in conjunction with Liss Fine Art Ltd.

See all works by Robert Austin