Curwen Press

Curwen Press | Preserving The Legacy Of Fine Art Printmaking


Sworders’ Chairman Guy Schooling is delighted to have been appointed ambassador of a fundraising project to aid in the relocation of the Curwen Print Study Centre, a subsidiary of The Curwen Press.

The Curwen Press was established in 1863 by the Reverend John Curwen (1816–1880) in Plaistow East London. Over the next several decades the Curwen established a tradition of creativity exemplified by artists such as Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden and Paul Nash, and a host of illustrators, designers, painters and sculptors.

The Curwen Studio opened its doors in November 1958, led by master printmaker Stanley Jones MBE. Over many decades, the studio grew its reputation internationally and with it the long list of artists whose work was produced in collaboration with the studio’s printmakers.

The Curwen Print Study Centre now operates as an educational charity offering printmaking courses from premises in Linton, Cambridgeshire. It is now in need of expansion to allow both for an additional studio and space to display and store a large print archive, making it available to the public. The Curwen Print Study Centre own a unique collection of prints by leading artist and supporting document archive dating from the early 20th century to the present day. Part of the early archive is held by The Tate Gallery.

New premises have been earmarked in a barn on the Thurlow Estate just ten minutes from the current site. While the cost of converting the building will be mainly met by the estate, the charity needs to raise £250,000 to fit out the studios and gallery space, buy additional equipment, pay for moving costs and to assist paying rent in its first years. The project aims to be self-funding within three years.

“It is vital that we preserve the legacy of fine art printmaking for the next 25 years at Great Thurlow and beyond” says Guy. “The move to new premises will allow us to expand and improve the reach of the current work of the Curwen Print Study Centre by creating a Centre for Printmaking Excellence.”

To aid the fundraising campaign, Sworders will be selling a collection of prints and lithographs donated from the Curwen archive, many of which were printed under the direction of Stanley Jones MBE. The collection will be sold in the forthcoming Modern British Art Auction, to be held live on Tuesday 20 April, with all proceeds going directly to the campaign. Featured in the collection are the works of outstanding talents including John Bellany RA, Bernard and Chloe Cheese, Helaine Blumenfeld OBE, Japanese artist Yoshishige Furukawa BFA, and Bernard Dunstan RA.

John Bellany

John Bellany RA (1942-2013)
Crescent moon
lithograph, signed and numbered 33/50 in pencil
73.5 x 54cm, unframed


Yoshishige Furukawa Curwen

Yoshishige Furukawa (Japanese, 1921-2008')
'Poetry Series III', 1999
ten lithographs printed in colours, signed in pencil
45 x 38.5cm, unframed (10)


Stanley Jones Curwen

Stanley Jones MBE (b.1933)
'Esklar 2'
lithograph printed in colours, signed, dated 2010 and numbered 8/20 in pencil
37 x 27cm


Sworders will also be offering 'TWO PEARS' by much-celebrated Modern British Artist Mary Fedden OBE RA RWA. The vibrant oil on canvas was gifted in person by Fedden to Stanley Jones and the present Director of Curwen, Lorraine Chitson, to help raise funds for the expansion of the Curwen Press Study Centre.

"Mary Fedden became involved in printmaking at the Curwen Studio through the influence of Julian Trevelyan, her husband who had gained experience of printmaking in his early career from time spent in Paris with S W Hayter, the well-known etcher and engraver. However, it was only when in London and both were commissioned to produce work by the Waddington Gallery in Cork St, that Mary made her appearance at the Curwen Studio and our association began. She was fascinated by the possibilities of zinc plate lithography and quickly learned how to collaborate with the printers in technical aspects of making her images, which were reflective of a style also present in her paintings. During these years, the images developed a freshness that marked them as some of her most characteristic lithographic prints. Over the many years of working together, we became close friends as well as Artist and Printmaker - a friendship which I valued ” Stanley Jones MBE




How can you help?

To support the Curwen Print Study Centre in raising funds to finance the relocation and building of two new studios, an archive and gallery space, please use the donation form linked here.