Woodpeckings: Victorian prints, book illustration and word-image narratives

Saturday 17 June 2017,
Friday 16 June 2017,
Stevenson Lecture Theatre

Book via the University of Sussex

Recommend this event

A two-day event with talks on the British Museum’s Dalziel Archive, as well on the latest research in Victorian illustration, print, and word-image narratives.

There will be a round table and sessions inviting participants to examine material in the Prints and Drawings Study Room.

In Victorian London, ‘woodpeckers’ or ‘peckers’ was slang for wood engravers. At this time, wood engraving was the chief medium of mass production, profusely illustrating books, magazines and ephemera – everything from Dickens and Trollope to fitness manuals and chocolate adverts. Dalziel Brothers was the most substantial London firm. Between 1839 and 1893 they made around 54,000 prints, including all the wood engravings for Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’ books, and Pre-Raphaelite wood engravings after John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones.

The British Museum holds the Dalziels’ own proof books, a phenomenal resource for researchers of 19th-century printmaking. This conference includes papers on the Dalziels and on a range of topics relating to illustration, printmaking techniques and verbal-visual artworks.

Speakers include Luisa Calè, Esther Chadwick, Douglas Downing, Hannah Field, Georgina Grant, Natalie Hume, Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Brian Maidment, George Mind, Clare Pettitt, David Skilton, Lindsay Smith, Bethan Stevens, Julia Thomas, Mark Turner and Kiera Vaclavik.

Generously supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Museum and the University of Sussex.

Book via the University of Sussex

You might also like


Brothers Dalziel, wood engravings after anonymous artist and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1857.