Artist Profile

John Buckland Wright

Born 1897, Died 1954

John Buckland Wright was born in Dunedin in 1897, a member of the established Buckland family for whom 'Highwic' was built and after whom 'Bucklands Beach' was named. Leaving for England as a young boy he studied architecture but turned to engraving in 1925, initially establishing himself in Brussels beforee going to Paris in 1929, and later to London in 1939.

The work of Buckland Wright is held in collections throughout the world including the Museum Meermanno, The Hague, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris and the London institutions Victoria and Albert Museum and the Tate Gallery. A complete collection of his engravings is in the British Museum.

Buckland Wright established himself as an international engraver, unusual in that he was equally proficient in the techniques of wood and copper engraving, intaglio and etching processes. Having learnt to engrave in wood, he began the same task in copper in 1929 but it is in dry point that he initially achieved the greatest freedom of expression and the influence of Picasso can be seen in many of his wood and copper engravings of this time. By 1933 he had achieved complete mastery of both wood and copper engraving and a few years later, he joined William Hayter's Atelier 17. Here he met and worked with artists such as Brancusi, Miro, Picasso and Matisse. Early in 1936, Hayter appointed Buckland Wright director, a post he held until the outbreak of war.

He was commissioned to create book illustrations and had a long and fruitful association with the Golden Cockerel Press. Buckland Wright became one of the Press' principal artists establishing himself with images such as those in 'Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam' and 'Vigil of Venus'.

Artworks by this Artist
View All Artworks by this Artist
Ferner Key