Monday, December 16, 2013

Some Seasonal Samplings

"The Little Gallery", which opened in England 1928, was an influential crafts gallery owned by Muriel Rose (1897-1986), a pioneer in the 20th century crafts movement. She championed the work of many innovative textile artists, pottery and folk artists of the day until the gallery closed in 1939. These images are from the Crafts Study Centre, via Venetian Red, yet I could not find any reference or credit for the delightful pen work in the holiday image above, which showcases the galleries wares. It looks like it could be the work of Barbara Jones possibly, but I cannot trace it to her either. If anyone has a clue who I should attribute this to, please let me know. 

Update: A kind reader informed me that this charming illustration was the hand of artist and designer, Alan (Sam) Smith who began working and exhibiting some of his work at Muriel Rose's shop in 1935. This illustration was used for a holiday promotional card for The Little Gallery in 1936. "Lots of surprises in all handy sizes". 

Another brilliant artist, Margaret Bryan produced these festive illustrations for A Children's Almanac in 1947. They appear as if they could even be from the same hand as the illustration above. Bryan's background also remains a mystery, but she was obviously a very accomplished illustrator. View the entire set of her artworks from this almanac at Full Table.

The work of contemporary British artist, Emily Sutton always lifts my spirits, even on the coldest days. Her hand lettering capabilities are just as endearing as her colorful illustrations with the many patterns. These first two festive scenes below are part of a larger pack of recent holiday cards produced for Godfrey & Watt, an online artist gallery of some sizeable talents. The Dickens at Christmas illustration is a new cover title from Vintage Classics. See many more of Sutton's work here.


  1. What makes all these illustrations so charming, I think, is that they are devoid of modern materialism, which makes Christmas so irritating. Instead, the holidays here mean colorful lights, small-town entertainment, and local businesses. My favorite is the word "Jubilate!"

  2. I know you're interested in paper engineering, so here's a link to a pop-up Santa Christmas card:
    I got the link from RegularJoe at who knew I'd be interested, so I'm passing it along to you, too. Maybe you haven't seen this one, yet.

    1. Thank you for the Lowell Hess link KL. I love it and am unfamiliar with his work. The faux wood printing press is the best. And I expect I will be spending many breaks exploring The Breakroom further. Thanks kindly for passing these both along.

  3. The first illustration really does look like it is also by Margaret Bryan, doesn't it? Otherwise it reminds me a little of Enid Marx, who also did work for the Little Gallery.

  4. Bryan's work does have a familiar ring, but then so does your suggestion of Enid Marx. I hadn't connected those dots, but she also seems a likely choice. They both deserve far more attention.


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