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The Many Faces of Bewick catalogue, by June Homes, based on the exhibition the Society organised in 2003 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Bewick’s birth, describes in detail all of the known portraits of Thomas Bewick and their derivatives. The Many Faces of Bewick presents images of Bewick from his youth to old age and includes some of his fascinating self-portraits, engraved caricatures hidden away in his vignettes.
It also investigates the celebrity of Bewick through his portraits. The engraved portraits were much sought after, the man in the street wanting to see what Bewick looked like and have his own copy. Even the street sculpture is described – did you know that there are three sculptures of Bewick to see on the streets of Newcastle? – a bust at Amen Corner, a statue on Northumberland Street and a little known stone face in Prudhoe Chare. Bewick was a celebrity in his own time, the many images of him bearing testimony to just how popular a naturalist and artist he was and still is.
Dr Gardner-Medwin’s paper discusses the preparation and production of Bewick’s History of British Birds, particularly the Water Birds volume, using previously unpublished archive information found in the Beilby and Bewick workshop books, housed in Tyne and Wear Archives.
Paperback, Digital Download