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Julian Trevelyan Award

Julian Trevelyan's Life

Details kindly provided by the Bohun Gallery

1910 Born 20th February, Leith Hill near Dorking, the only surviving child of the classical scholar and poet Robert Calverley Trevelyan and his Dutch wife Elizabeth van der Hoeven. Julian was the grandson of Sir George Otto Trevelyan, Liberal politician and writer and nephew of the historian George Macaulay Trevelyan.
1923-28 Educated at Bedales School where his interest in art was encouraged by an inspirational teacher, Gigi Meo. His first published prints appeared in a number of issues of the school magazine The Ray.
1928-30 Aged 18, Trevelyan went to Trinity College, Cambridge to read English Literature. There his circle of friends included Jacob Bronowski, Kathleen Raine, George Reavey and Humphrey Jennings. It was Jennings who introduced him to French painting and Surrealist ideas.
1931 Trevelyan left Cambridge before completing his tripos and moved to Paris to become an artist, eventually enrolling in Stanley William Hayter's engraving school 'Atelier Dix-Sept', where he first learnt the techniques of etching. In Hayter's studio he worked alongside such figures as Max Ernst, Oska Kokoshka, Joan Miró and Picasso.
1932-34 Trevelyan's first joint exhibition (with Robin Darwin) was held at the Bloomsbury Gallery, London. His second exhibition at the Bloomsbury was shared with the potter Ursula Darwin whom he was later to marry.
1935 Trevelyan discovered and bought Durham Wharf, by the Thames in Hammersmith, which became his home and studio for the rest of his life and a constant source of artistic inspiration.
1936 When Trevelyan returned to London he became a confirmed Surrealist and exhibited at the famous International Exhibition of Surrealism at the New Burlington Galleries, London.
1937 Joined Tom Harrison, Humphrey Jennings and Charles Madge's Mass Observation team. Also joined the English Surrealist Group and participated in a number of Surrealist exhibitions in London and became a member of the Artists International Association and exhibited with them.
1938 He resigned from the English Surrealist Group and attended pacifist demonstrations and produced work in support of the Republican government during the Spanish Civil War.
1940-43 Joined S. W. Hayter's Industrial Camouflage Research unit and subsequently served as a camouflage officer with the Royal Engineers. In 1943 his only child, Philip Erasmus was born.
1946-50 Travelled widely. Made his first lithograph Harbour for Schools Prints Ltd. Marriage to Ursula broke down and they were divorced in 1950.
1951-55 Married the painter Mary Fedden. They both painted a series of murals for the Festival of Britain and the Wheatley Road School in Welwyn Garden City. Trevelyan returned to Hayter's workshops to update his etching techniques and began multi-plate printing. Between 1950 and 1955 he taught history of art and etching at the Chelsea School of Art.
1955-63 Trevelyan was appointed as Tutor of Engraving at the Royal College of Art, eventually becoming Head of the Etching Department where he influenced a new generation of printmakers including the young David Hockney. In 1957 Trevelyan's autobiography, Indigo Days was published by MacGibbon and Kee.
1963 Trevelyan suffered an unidentified viral infection of the brain which permanently affected his speech and obliged him to give up teaching. It was to printmaking that he first turned when he started to work again and in the same year his book Etching, Modern Methods of Intaglio Printmaking was published by Studio Publications.
1965-75 Trevelyan was one of the founder members of the Printmakers' Council in London (elected President in 1973). In 1971 he began a contract with Leslie Waddington Prints Ltd and produced work solely for them until 1975.
1975-85 Travelled widely with Mary, always sketching the places they visited which were then turned into paintings and prints on their return home. In 1983 the first retrospective of his etchings was held at Bohun Gallery in Henley-on-Thames and in 1985 a retrospective of paintings and prints was held at the Waterman's Art Centre, Brentford. Trevelyan's final print, The Bridge was made in 1985.
1986-88 In July 1986 Trevelyan was awarded a senior Fellowship of the Royal College of Art and in September 1987 was appointed Academician of the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Julian Trevelyan died in Hammersmith on 12 July 1988.


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