This delightful wood engraving, Turkey, was made in 1914 by talented artist, philanthropist and past Whitworth Director, Margaret Pilkington (25/11/1891-2/4/1974). This was the year she was studying her craft at the Central School of Art and Design, London; taught by British wood-engraver, artist and book illustrator, Noel Rooke.
Rooke was a major influence in the revival of the practice of wood engraving in the twentieth century and his students were prominent in those very early years; as members of the Society of Wood Engravers and as illustrators of books. Pilkington exhibited in the first exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers in 1920, became a member in 1922, and continued to exhibit with them until 1931.
In 1922 Pilkington contributed a wood engraving to Contemporary English Woodcuts, an anthology of wood engravings produced by Thomas Balston, an enthusiast for the new style of wood engravings. In his introduction to the book, Campbell Dodgson, Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum (1912-32), described ‘Miss Pilkington’ as being, ‘among the other women artists who practise wood engraving with zeal and success.’
It’s fair to say, we think it would make a fabulously festive Whitworth Christmas card! – Rebecca