Springtime at Fulham, 1921
Framed (ref: 6060)
Original copper plate, cancelled
20.2 x 21.6 cm
Austin's training as an artist, at the Royal College of Art, was interrupted by the outbreak of the war during which he served in the Royal Garrison Artillery as a gunner.
Returning to the R.C.A after the war had finished Austin shared diges in Fulham (no. 58 Wandsworth Bridge Road, SW6) with his fellow student print maker Tennant who recalled:
The window of the room gave onto all the back of the surrounding houses and gardens.
His print ‘Springtime at Fulham’ was made from this window. You will see in this that all the brick walls come together, meeting at a sort of cross roads in the foreground. This used to be a regular rendezvous for all the cats in the neighbourhood and sometimes their howling did get a bit of a nuisance at night. Eventually we got fed up and made ourselves two catapults. We used to gather pebbles when we were out and keep a store on the window sill. As we had both been gunners we practised ‘ranging’ on the cross roads at the top of the brick walls in daylight. With practise we managed to get the right elevation for our catapults so that we could land the pellet, in the dark, somewhere near the target.. p 5
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