I N C L I N E
P R E S S
Marco's Animal Alphabet
twenty-seven original linocuts by Enid Marx
hand coloured following a plan devised by Peter Allen
with an introduction by Graham Moss

 

Enid Marx (1902-1998) spent her life designing objects to delight the eye. In a career that extended from her college days until her death, she created textiles, postage stamps, jampot labels, repeat patterns for both paper and cloth, book jackets and book illustrations, as well as the covers for Zodiac Books, the odd Puffin and a few King Penguins. Add to that the magazine adverts, posters for the London Underground, suitcase linings, laminated tabletops and nursery furniture. She wrote some eight children's books as well as the others she illustrated, and is the co-author with Margaret Lambert of two books concerning folk art, including the important English Popular Art (1951, new edition 1981). Her own collection of folk art has become part of the Marx & Lambert Collection of Folk Art at Compton Verney in Warwickshire England. While this is nowhere near a comprehensive list of her work, it gives an idea of the depth of her interest in art and design.

The linocuts published in this book were completed in 1979. Over the next few years they appeared occasionally in exhibitions of her work, but a formal edition of the prints was never made, and they are appearing here, in their "proper" book format, for the first time. The introduction to the book tells the story of how we came to have these cuts, and why we took so long to print them.

They are large cuts, some portrait and others landscape, all larger than 7 x 5 inches, and they are accompanied by running rhymes which explain them. The whole is imbued with the joy and sense of fun that is so typical of her work.

We asked Peter Allen to work with us to devise a colour scheme for the cuts. His expertise in the art of pochoir, the stencil method of hand colouring, is well known not only due to the articles he has written on the subject, particularly his article in Matrix 13 (1993), but more because of his own delightful illustrations for Whittington Press (Travels in the Cevannes), Incline Press (Playing Gershwin), and two alphabets he created for Gwas Gregynog. The appreciation of folk art that he shares with Enid Marx is evident on each page.

As well as the copies Marco wanted printed for her great nieces and nephews, we have made an edition of 165 copies for sale. They have been printed on a heavy, acid-free paper, Fabriano Artistico, made from 100% cotton fibres and retaining their deckled fore-edge. The page size is imperial quarto, a generous 15 x 11 inches. The binding is blue cloth, with sides covered in a design reconstructed from one of the patterned papers she created in the late 1920s for The Little Gallery in London. The verse is set in 24pt. Scotch Roman, with various Bodoni faces used for the introduction and display. Fifteen special copies were sold out on publication.

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Linocut courtesy of the estate of Enid Marx Last Updated: 15 October 2000 by K.Whalen