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Edward Bawden & Me

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Edward Bawden & Me

17 February 2024 – 13 October 2024
Free Entry


Edward wouldn’t have wanted his archive to be just a depository of his extraordinary collection of works but as a source of inspiration for all. Chris Brown, ‘Edward Bawden & Me’ Curator


The biggest names in British art, illustration, ceramics and textiles come together in this eclectic exhibition in celebration of the work of printmaker, illustrator, watercolourist and designer Edward Bawden (1903-1989).

 Webpage image 1 copyright Russell Cobb

The exhibition is curated by Bawden’s good friend, the illustrator and printmaker Chris Brown who has invited thirty artists and makers to respond to works by Edward Bawden in The Higgins Bedford Collection. The artists include - fashion designer Lulu Guinness, ceramicists Vicky Lindo and Sussex Lustreware, artists Rob Ryan, Angie Lewin, John Broadley and John Lawrence, rag rug maker Lu Mason and stone carver Matt Loughlin and a host of other well known and brilliant artists and makers.

 Webpage image 2 copyright Russell Cobb

Each artist has been invited to look through the archive and pick a work that inspires them. In the exhibition their artistic response is shown alongside the work by Bawden that inspired it. 


 Resized RL 2

 Rob and Lorna Ryan visiting the Edward Bawden archive.


Chris Brown says, ‘I think Edward would be amused to see that so many artists, printmakers, designers are paying “homage” to his work. Selecting the group has been enormous fun and the work produced in response to Edwards will reflect his broad interests. Some of the participants knew him personally, whilst others know him only by his work. What links them all is their obvious admiration for the man and his output. Work gave him great pleasure and the work itself has given and continues to give great pleasure to others.’

 Webpage Jonny Hannah and Mark Hearld in the Higgins Bedford Art Store visiting the Edward Bawden archive


Upstairs in the Edward Bawden Gallery the exhibition continues with a local group of Bedfordshire illustrators, the Circus of Illustration, who have been commissioned by The Higgins Bedford to support eight local artists to produce a collection of new illustrations inspired by the Edward Bawden Archive.


For details of events accompanying this exhibition, please click here.


The exhibition is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.


Image credits: 
left: Kew Gardens Rag Rug 2023 by Lu Mason. © Lu Mason       
Centre: Chris Brown by Alun Callender. © Alun Callender
Right: Kew Gardens 1936 by Edward Bawden ©The Edward Bawden Est