Walter Crane

Once Upon a Canvas: Exploring Fairy Tale Illustrations from 1870-1942

Walter Crane (1845-1915)
Born in Liverpool, England in 1845, the illustrator Walter Crane is considered to be one of the most prolific contributors to children’s illustrated literature and influential children’s book creators. Crane’s inexpensive “toybook” offered attractive art at an affordable price, which earned him a loyal following and good reputation in the art world. Crane became a student of renowned artist John Ruskin and also apprenticed for the wood-engraver William James Linton. In the 1880s, he became involved in political activity and used his art for the advancement of the Socialist cause by creating weekly cartoons for Socialist organizations and working for the Art Workers Guild and Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, which he founded in 1888. The Guild stood for traditional craftsmanship, using simple forms and applied medieval, romantic or folk tales for decoration—it was anti-industrial. Crane died many years later in 1915, at the age of 69.
-Julie Slusky