Exhibition: Rigby Graham and the Leicestershire Private Presses

New exhibition celebrates the contribution of artist Rigby Graham to Leicester's thriving private press movement

Graham 1139 250Born in Manchester in 1931, the artist and writer Rigby Graham spent most his life living and working in Leicester. He has been described as one of the most important landscape and topographical painters of the late twentieth century, and was a prolific and versatile artist. His landscapes were influenced by English neo-romantics such as John Piper, Paul Nash and Graham Sutherland, and 19th-centure figures including Turner, Gainsborough and Cotman. He had little time for the London art scene, and was driven to make art whether people appreciated it or not, and whether it sold or not. At times he found it difficult to make a living, saying that ‘If it did not sell, then it must be alright’.

In the 60s and 70s Graham developed a career as a book illustrator and writer, and became one of the driving forces in the Leicestershire private press movement. He was responsible for more than 300 books, for which he sometimes made the paper and bindings himself. In 2008 the University of Leicester awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters. The Library's current exhibition uses books and pamphlets from Special Collections to showcase his work as a book illustrator and publisher.

The exhibition runs from 8 February until 27 May 2016 in the basement of the David Wilson Library, and may be viewed during the Library's staffed opening hours. Entry to the Library is free but security controlled. Ask for admission to the Special Collections exhibition at reception.

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