ERIC GILL

September 20, 2019 9:06 am Published by

Biography
1882 Born Brighton, Sussex on 22 February
1897 Moved to Chichester. Attended Chichester Technical and Art School and learned decorative lettering
1900 Apprenticed to W.H.Caroe, architect to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in London.
Evening classes at the Central School of Art and Crafts, London. Studied letter cutting under Edward Johnstone. Began to carve in stone.
1903 Broke apprenticeship with Caroe and became self-employed letter cutter
1904 Married Ethel Moore. Elected to Art Workers Guild as letter cutter and sign writer
1905 Taught monumental masonry and lettering for stonemasons at Paddington Institute. Joined Fabian Society
1906 Began to make wood engravings. Traveled to Rome
1909 Began to carve figures in stone
1913 Set up an artistic community in Ditchling, Sussex. Converted to Roman Catholicism
1918 Called up for war service at RAF transport camp at Blandford
1925 Produced engraving for edition of The Song of Songs, Golden Cockerel Press. Pilgrimage to Rome
1926 Life drawing at the Academie Grande Chaumiere
1927 Lived in Salies-de Bearn, in foothills of Pyrenees
1930 Nervous collapse, treated in St. John’s Wood, London
1931 Established own press, Hague and Gill, at Pigotts
1933 Founder member of Artists’ International Association
1934 Traveled to Jerusalem to carve for Archaeological Museum and stayed 6 months
1936 Appointed Royal Designer to Industry
1937 Revisited the Holy Land
1938 Awarded Honorary Doctorate of Law from Edinburgh University
1940 Diagnosed with lung cancer. Died in 17 November in Harefield Hospital and buried with headstone of own design in Speen churchyard, Bucks.

Public Commissions
1912 Commissioned by Madame Frieda Strindberg to make sculptures for her nightclub, the Cave of the Calf
1913 Commissioned to carve set of Stations of the Cross for Westminster Cathedral (exempted from war service in 1914 in order to carve them)
1915 Village war memorial cross for Bryantspuddle village
1916 Carved font for St. Joseph’s church, Pickering
1920 Sculpture of St. Michael the Archangel for St. Patrick’s Church, Dumbarton, the only entirely painted sculpture in his oeuvre
1921 Set of Stations of the Cross for St. Cuthbert’s Church, Bradford
1922 Leeds University war
1924 Invited by government to design stamps and new silver coinage; set of Stations of the Cross for Our Lady and St. Peter’s church, Leatherhead
1928 Received commission to lead team of artists to produce sculpture for London Underground
1931 Began designs for BBC
1933 Received commission for sculpture for new Archaeological Museum, Jerusalem; Mary and the Christ Child, St. Denys and St. George at Manchester Cathedral; Crucifixion at St. Thomas Church, Hanwell,
1935 Commission from HM Government to carve large relief for new League of Nations building, Geneva
1938 Collaboration with boys at Blundells’ School, Tiverton, Devon, on a new central altar for their school chapel
1939 Carved St. John the Baptist at Guilford Cathedral

Selected Solo Exhibitions
1911 First one-man exhibition at Chenil Gallery, London. Contemporary Art Society bought two reliefs
1914 Goupil Gallery, London, where he exhibited regularly until 1936
1918 Exhibition of drawings at Alpine Club Gallery, London
1933 Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
1982 Gillian Jason Gallery, Eric Gill: Matter and Spirit
1996 Eric Gill: Sculpture, Barbican Art Gallery, London, (catalogue by Judith Collins)
1998 Jason & Rhodes, London, (book launch for Judith Collins’Eric Gill: The Sculpture, The Herbert Press)

Selected Group Exhibitions
1926 Venice Biennale
1930 Venice Biennale
1982 Anthony d’Offay, London
1928 Goupil Gallery, London

Awards
1916 Designed war memorial of Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple for Civic Arts Association Competition, gained second prize
1935 Awarded Honorary Associateship of RIBA
1937 Awarded Honorary Associateship of Royal Society of British Sculptors; Elected Associate of Royal Academy

Bibliography
1927 John Rothenstein compiled the first biography on Gill’s work
1929 Douglas Cleverdon, Art Nonsense and Other Essays and Engravings by Eric Gill: A Selection
1936 Eric Gill, The Necessity of Belief
1938 Eric Gill, Twenty-five Nudes
1953 E. R. Gill: Bibliography of Eric Gil
1963 J. F. Physick: The Engraved Works of Eric Gill
1964 E.R. Gill, The Inscriptional Work of Eric Gill: An Inventory
1966 Robert Speaight, The Life of Eric Gill, Methuen & Company, London
1983 C. Skelton, ed.: The Engravings of Eric Gill, Wellingborough
1989 Fiona MacCarthy, Eric Gill Faber & Faber, London
1981 Malcolm Yorke, Eric Gill: Man of Flesh and Spirit, Constable, London
1996 Barbican Art Gallery, exhibition catalogue
1998 Dr. Judith Collins, Eric Gill: The Sculpture, The Herbert Press, London

 

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