Design: Wyndham Payne
by William Connelly and Paul Payne.
ACC Art Books, 2020.
A designer of dust jackets for crime fiction by Agatha Christie, Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, and novels by Vera Brittain and Richmal Compton; an illustrator for books and magazines like Punch and Vogue; a designer of advertisements, greetings cards and calendars; a printmaker and model maker. Who am I referring to?
I must admit Wyndham Payne was not a name I’d ever heard of let alone rated till this book came into my hands. With a biographical essay by William Connelly (which first appeared 2005-6) and additional material by one of the artist’s grandsons, this well-illustrated retrospective gives an excellent introduction to a largely self-taught artist who deserves to be better known and appreciated.
He also was an avid collector of bric-a-brac and bargains from junk shops – what he called ‘gubbins shops’ – resulting in the purchase of what appeared to be a later copy but was in fact an original 15th-century painting of the Crucifixion on vellum by Herman Scheerre, now in the British Library. And a watercolour copy of a Rembrandt painting he purchased at auction later turned out to be by Constable.Continue reading “Simple yet elegant”