George Worsley Adamson
Illustrator and humorist
Copyright: the Battle
The George Adamson Archive
Illustration for Periodicals
Official War Artist
Publicity and Stationery
Work in Public Collections
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As this web site demonstrates much of Adamsons work has been published. Many illustrations were commissioned for publication
and many cartoons, which had been done speculatively, made their way into print in a whole range of magazines and newspapers. For the most part he earned his
living through his work being published rather than through the sale of original works of art to galleries or private collectors.
To some extent Adamson has been able to break down that old divide between so-called commercial art and fine art through the
masterliness of his line and the painterliness of his colourwork. Indeed some of his pictures, although done for commercial purposes,
are works of art in themselves and have been perceived as such by collectors. In their own way some of his drawings for, say, the
Nursing Times are as moving and evocative as some of Goyas engravings; and some of his Punch covers could be said to be
modern masters in the figurative tradition.
His draughtsmanship, exploited purely for its own sake, is much in evidence in his etchings and engravings.
Here he emerges as an important exponent of one branch of fine art.
In time it is hoped that a selection of early works in various media will be shown on this site to give an idea of how his style developed.
In addition there will be examples of his momentary departures into the realms of decorative art: items of furniture (among them a foldaway
Punch and Judy booth) and carpets made to his design. Also, a number of enticing pictures
will give glimpses of book projects that sit astride that divide between the two art worlds.
These are projects, mostly in a completed state, that await publication in a fitting manner. Among them are:
- Humorous drawings of Florence and Venice forming a sequel to his book Rome Done Lightly
- Other People: a series of satirical drawings of modern mores inspired by Sartres line in Huis-Clos [In Camera] (1944): Lenfer,
cest les autres [hell is other people].
- There and Back: a series of remarkable paintings that read either way up and are aimed to intrigue and amaze young children
- The Three Dealers: a fantastical romp through great works of art by three eccentric auctioneers
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