Dunbar Hay Ltd 1935-40, and the achievements of Cecilia Dunbar Kilburn (STANDARD COPY)

Artist(s): Eric Ravilious
Author(s): Simon Lawrence
Format: hardback
Year published: 2017
Publisher: The Fleece Press
Publisher Location: Denby
Total Pages: 172
Illustrations: Illustrated

Artist(s) Biographies:


1 available

Founded in 1936 by Cecilia Dunbar Kilburn and Athole Hay, this London gallery (the term shop was actually their preferred term) was created as a marriage bureau for promising young designers (mostly Royal College of Art graduates) and industry. Within four years it had closed for the war, and its stock and records destroyed by bombing. There is virtually no paper record, nor any photographs of the shop, but a 1979 lecture given by Cecilia Dunbar Kilburn (by then Lady Sempill) serves as a starting point to recreate the goods and ethos of the shop, which has been immortalised by a flamboyant two-colour trade card engraved by Eric Ravilious.
Lady Sempill’s lecture is reprinted in full, with a memoir by her daughter Gabriel Sempill, and an essay of about 26,000 words by myself on the artists involved with the shop and their wares; it has been a fascinating effort. The book runs to 172 pages printed in colour by Northend Creative Print Solutions in Sheffield, bound in an unknown pattern taken from fabric sold in the shop. 120 specials will also contain an original copy of the Ravilious trade card, with a piece of hand-printed organdie fabric from Enid Marx’s earliest days as an outstanding textile artist.


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