Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Albert Wainwright and Theatre

Fans of Albert Wainwright, the early 20th century painter from Yorkshire will know that this blog often features his painting. It is slightly less well known however, what a passion he had for the theatre. You might expect an artist to branch into theatre and costume design, and indeed he did, some of which are illustrated at the bottom of this post, but Wainwright went further. I was so lucky yesterday to be able to spend some time looking through a significant private collection of Wainwright material and among the paintings and sketchbooks were the two books illustrated here. The first (above and two below) is the handwritten manuscript of a short essay "On the Designer in the Theatre" and the second is the manuscript of a number of plays Wainwright wrote, in a cycle, following the liturgical year from Advent on through. The printed ephemera inside makes it clear that this was not simply a vanity exercise, these plays were produced and performed, if only locally.

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