John Buckland Wright

b.1897, d.1954

Three Bathers

  • 1951
  • Wood engraving
  • Transferred from the Canterbury Public Library, 1995
  • 252 x 191mm
  • 95/26

Recognised internationally for his wood-engravings, John Buckland Wright originally came from Ōtepoti Dunedin and moved to England at a young age. He became interested in wood-engraving in the mid-1920s and taught himself the medium. Living in Brussels at this time, he joined De Vijf, a group of contemporary Belgian woodblock printers. He gained a reputation for book illustration and was commissioned to cut wood-engravings by some of the most celebrated private presses, including The Golden Cockerel Press.

Ink on Paper: Aotearoa New Zealand Printmakers of the Modern Era, 11 February – 28 May 2023

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • During the 1950s John Buckland Wright produced a number of prints in which female figures appear on deserted beaches. He has given a classical, idealised feeling to this work with the elegant poses of the bathers, the robes on the figure in the foreground and the tranquil setting. Buckland Wright was a significant figure in British printmaking and book illustration during the first half of the 20th century. Although self-taught, he displayed a masterly technique. His detailed work was ideally suited to the woodcut medium. Born in Dunedin, Buckland Wright travelled to England with his mother and siblings after his father died in 1901. During World War One he was awarded the Croix de Guerre for gallantry. Buckland Wright worked as an oil painter, etcher and engraver. He exhibited with the London Group and the Society of Wood Engravers and his book illustrations were done largely with the Golden Cockerel Press. From 1948 he taught at both the Camberwell School of Art and the Slade School of Art

    (Label date unknown)