The six framed art works by Walter Crane grace a corridor on the ground floor of St. Grimbald’s Court.
The Old Man in Leather appeared in the 1878 “The Baby’s Bouquet” which was a companion to the “Baby’s Opera”, a book of English nursery songs planned in 1877 with Edmund Evans.
About the artist:
Born 15th August 1845, in Liverpool, he was an English artist and book illustrator. Considered to be among the most influential and prolific children’s book creator of his generation.
He was part of the Arts and Crafts movement (an international movement that began in Britain which spread to Europe and North America between 1880 and 1910.)
Although not himself an anarchist, Crane contributed to several libertarian publishers which included Liberty Press and Freedom Press. He was controversial in his support of the four Chicago anarchists, executed in 1887 in connection with the Haymarket affair (aftermath of a bombing that took place at a labor demonstration on Tuesday May 4, 1886, at Haymarket Square).
It was probably the most dramatic episode in his career when he visited the US for his exhibition in 1891. Because of his radical opinions, financial support was withdrawn and planned dinners in his honor were cancelled.
In response, Crane wrote a letter to the press explaining that he had not meant to cause insult and did not himself favor the use of explosives, but that he was merely expressing his own opinion that those convicted were innocent of the crime for which they were charged.
High quality images came from Paul Webb’s blog. It can be found here.