Donald-Book-cover

Donald McGill Postcard Artist

£30.00

Donald McGill is the greatest and most famous British comic postcard artist of all time. During an artistic career lasting over sixty years he produced over 12,000 postcard designs. They sold in their millions, became an essential part of the British seaside holiday and made a major contribution to British popular culture.

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Product Description

title

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In this meticulously researched book, surprisingly the first full-scale biography of such an important illustrator, Bernard Crossley tells the story of his extraordinary life. At the age of thirty two he gave up a secure job to embark on the extremely insecure and at that time novel occupation of postcard artist. After retiring at sixty five, he returned to work at the age of seventy and at the age of seventy six he took over the running of his publishing company in addition to designing postcards, continuing to work right up until his death at the age of eighty seven.

 

The book also explains how a man from a very straight-laced and highly respectable Victorian background virtually created and came to be associated with the saucy seaside postcard. It describes his skirmishes with the censors and the law, culminating in a show trial in 1954, and the disapproval which he also suffered from his own family.
The author shows however that this association with the saucy does a great disservice to his work which featured an extremely wide variety of subjects, of which the risqué was but a small part, and which illustrated and documented many different aspects of British society during the first half of the twentieth century.
In addition there are chapters on the nature of the man, his working methods and his continuing influence as well as an evaluation of his remarkable achievement.
Copiously illustrated and including many full-colour reproductions of postcards from all periods of his career, the book paints for the first time a detailed and fascinating portrait of a major illustrator of the twentieth century whilst also presenting a wide-ranging selection of his work to enjoy.
Book Details:
Hardback, Gilt embossed buckram cover with over 40 colour pages of illustrations on high quality silk paper ; 152 pages of text on high quality laid paper.

Full colour illustrated laminated dust jacket. Scarce 1st edition limited to just 1000 copies. Printed and bound in the United Kingdom. Size A4.

 

Written by: BERNARD CROSSLEY

Format: Hardback, with dust jacket

Donald McGill is the greatest and most famous British comic postcard artist of all time. During a career lasting over sixty years he produced over 12000 postcard designs. They sold in their millions, became an essential part of the British seaside holiday and made a major contribution to British popular culture.

However the man himself has remained largely unknown. In this meticulously researched book, surprisingly the first full-scale biography of such an important illustrator, Bernard Crossley tells the story of his extraordinary life. At the age of thirty two he gave up a secure job to embark on the extremely insecure and at that time novel occupation of postcard artist. After retiring at sixty five, he returned to work at the age of seventy and at the age of seventy six he took over the running of his publishing company in addition to designing postcards, continuing to work right up until his death at the age of eighty seven.

The book also explains how a man from a very straight-laced and highly respectable Victorian background virtually created and came to be associated with the saucy seaside postcard. It describes his skirmishes with the censors and the law, culminating in a show trial in 1954, and the disapproval which he also suffered from his own family.

The author shows however that this association with the saucy does a great disservice to his work which featured an extremely wide variety of subjects, of which the risqué was but a small part, and which illustrated and documented many different aspects of British society during the first half of the twentieth century.

In addition there are chapters on the nature of the man, his working methods and his continuing influence as well as an evaluation of his remarkable achievement.

Copiously illustrated and including many full-colour reproductions of postcards from all periods of his career, the book paints for the first time a detailed and fascinating portrait of a major illustrator of the twentieth century whilst also presenting a wide-ranging selection of his work to enjoy.


Some notable assessments of Donald McGill and his work:

“by far the best of contemporary postcard artists… McGill is a clever draughtsman with a real caricaturist’s touch”
George Orwell“the most popular, hence most eminent English painter of the century… Mr McGill is the creator of the English comic postcard.”
Lord Kinross“The King of Comic Postcards…the Picasso of the pier, the Munnings of Margate”
Dennis Potter“his name belongs alongside … Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll and Spike Milligan”
Bob Monkhouse“a true artist, and his work has passed into our visual language with his name indelibly stamped on it”
Bernard Levin“my cards have become accepted as an essential part of a British seaside holiday – like beer or winkles.”
Donald McGill


Bernard Crossley, a retired university administrator, is a collector of and an authority on the work of Donald McGill. Items from his collection formed the basis of the McGill exhibition mounted by the Cartoon Art Trust in London in 2004 and he was consultant to and took part in the first major television programme on McGill which was broadcast on BBC4 in 2005. He has also appeared in two more recent BBC television programmes, The Picture Postcard World of Nigel Walmsley in 2011 and Antiques Uncovered in 2012, which both featured the work of McGill. Born and brought up near to the Potteries, he now lives in Kent.

Additional Information

Weight 8.5 kg