His Arts and Crafts style is sure to please
Walter J. Phillips (Canadian, b. England, 1884–1963) was already a critically acclaimed watercolorist by the time he immigrated to Winnipeg, Canada, in 1913. Once in Canada, he took up engraving but found that he disliked “the cold unresponsive nature of metal . . . and the dirtiness of printing inks.” So he moved on to woodblock printing, the medium for which he would gain worldwide recognition. Phillips's success as a printmaker was due to his extraordinary perspective, uncompromising design, masterful craftsmanship, and use of dramatic silhouettes and luminous color. Additionally, he loved the medium, writing, “no black is so rich and ?fat' as the black in a wood-cut, and no white is so pure. For graphic boldness, directness and simplicity the wood-cut is supreme.”
During Phillips's fifty-year career, his artwork was exhibited throughout North America and Britain; he also was a prolific book illustrator and taught art at the Banff Centre and the Institute of Technology and Art in Calgary.
In this monograph, Phillips's place in the forefront of the Arts and Crafts movement in North America is explored in detail by noted period scholar Nancy E. Green, while essays by two of the artist's family members provide unique perspectives on Phillips's life and work. In addition, quotes by the artist concerning his work accompany many of the reproductions.About the AUTHOR
Nancy E. Green is the Gale and Ira Drukier Curator of European and American Art, Prints & Drawings, 1800–1945, at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University. Among her numerous published works are A Room of Their Own: The Bloomsbury Artists in American Collections; Byrdcliffe: An American Arts and Crafts Colony
; and Arthur Wesley Dow and American Arts and Crafts
. Toni Tomlinson is one of the sixteen grandchildren of Walter J. Phillips, while Kate Rutherford is the artist's great-granddaughter. Both have been profoundly influenced by Phillips's work throughout their lives and continue to promote it.