In Search of Emery Walker:
The Emery Walker birthday talk & tour on April 4th at Kelmscott House
Author and graphic designer Simon Loxley discusses his latest book Emery Walker: Arts, Crafts and a World in Motion, two days after what would have been Walker’s 169th birthday in Kelmscott House, the former home of his best friend William Morris.
Emery Walker’s role as inspiration and facilitator for the private press movement and in the raising of standards in printing and typography is well-known among designers, bibliophiles and lovers of fine print. His influence spread to the United States and Europe, and helped to determine the design ethos of the 20th century and beyond. Bernard Newdigate of the Shakespeare Head Press wrote: ‘Others besides myself would gladly and gratefully own that nearly everything that is worth anything in their own practice as printers comes directly or indirectly from his counsel and example.’ Designer Philip Webb called him ‘the Universal Samaritan’.
Simon explains “Although Walker was a crucial figure in the private press movement, highly respected member of the world of graphic design, printing and typography, political activist and friends with celebrities such as the Morris family, George Bernard Shaw and Lawrence of Arabia, he seems to have been happy to help others while staying out of the limelight himself. My research has sought to shine a light on this genial and generous self-made man.”
Simon will paint a picture of Walker, his work and his world, a man who professionally and socially seemed to ‘know everyone’. He will re-examine what has been written about him, and include his research of archive material, much of which came from Walker’s home at 7 Hammersmith Terrace, where he lived from 1903 to 1933. Emery Walker’s house, and its authentic Arts & Crafts interiors, is open to the public for guided tours on Thursdays and Saturdays. The talk begins at 6.30pm on April 4th at The William Morris Society, Kelmscott House, 26 Upper Mall, London, W6 9TA with an optional tour of Emery Walker’s house which is a ten minute walk away at 5pm. Proceeds will go to both house museums. emerywalker.org.uk/events.
Simon is a graphic designer and writer. His publications include Type is Beautiful: The Story of Fifty Remarkable Fonts, Printer’s Devil: The Life and Work of Frederic Warde and Type: The Secret History of Letters. Attendees of the talk and visitors to Emery Walker’s house can benefit from a 25% discount on his new book Emery Walker: Arts, Crafts and a World in Motion.
The Emery Walker Trust
The Emery Walker Trust is a registered charity which aims to preserve and open the House for as many people to enjoy as possible. The Trust also aims to improve knowledge of the Arts & Crafts movement and the life and work of Sir Emery Walker.
emerywalker.org.uk Facebook Twitter @EmeryWalker_org
Simon Loxley is a graphic designer and writer, and the author of Type is Beautiful: The Story of Fifty Remarkable Fonts (Bodleian Library, 2016), Printer’s Devil: The Life and Work of Frederic Warde (David Godine, 2013), and Type: The Secret History of Letters (I.B. Tauris, 2004). He designed the Emery Walker’s House logo, and designed and edited Ultrabold, the journal of St. Bride Library (2006–16). The result of his recent research, Emery Walker: Arts, Crafts and a World in Motion, was published by Oak Knoll in October 2019.