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Walter Crane
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Horsham,West Sussex
Born Augsut 15, 1845 in Liverpool, son of the portrait miniaturist, Thomas Crane. Died in Horsham Hospital, West Sussex on March 14, 1915 three months after his wife's death in a train crash. He was apprenticed (1859-62) to the wood engraver W. J. Linton and was taught to draw on wood by Linton's partner Orrin Smith. He also studied at the Zoological Gardens and attended drawing classes at Heatherly's School of Art. He worked for the engraver and printer Edmund Evans during the 1860s and 1870s, first designing covers for 'yellowbacks' and soon afterwards illustrating the inexpensive children's toy books that established his reputation. They represented the first successful attempt to mass-produce well-drawn, designed and printed books in color for young children. His creative approach to page design was evident throughout his work and he was one of the first illustrators to acknowledge the visual unity of the double page spread. Through trained as a draftsman for wood engraving, he transferred very successfully to working for photomechanical reproduction when this was introduced at the beginning of the 1890s. He was at the forefront of the Arts and Crafts movement and his own work has played a significant part in the development of the Aesthetic style of the late 1870s and 1880s. (from Book Illustrators of the Twentieth Century by Brigid Peppin and Lucy Micklethwait (New York: Arco Publishing, 1984)