The six framed art works by Walter Crane grace a corridor on the ground floor of St. Grimbald’s Court.
I Saw Three Ships appeared in the 1877 “Baby’s Opera”, a book of English nursery songs planned with Edmund Evans.
About the artist:
He became close friends with William Morris; the two men both deplored the effects of modern manufacturing and the commercial system of craftsmanship and design.
In January 1884, Crane and Morris both joined the Social Democratic Federation (its leader, H. M. Hyndman, had been converted to socialism by reading the work of Karl Marx.)
Crane contributed illustrations for the party journal called “Justice” for free. In one of his most popular drawings, Capitalism was represented by a vampire eating a slumbering workman, and an angelic figure of Socialism tried to wake the workman and alert him to the situation.
Though Crane shared the SDF leader’s Marxist views, he objected to his nationalism and dictatorial methods he used to run the party. Hyndman still respected Crane due to Crane’s devotion to make art to help further Socialist propaganda.
High quality images came from Paul Webb’s blog. It can be found here.