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Clarke Hutton

Born: 1898. Died: 1966. Nationality: British.

Hutton became one of the most eminent and influential book illustrators of his time. Early in his career he had worked with the celebrated theatre designer William Pitcher before enrolling at the Central School of Arts and Crafts to study lithography with A S Hartrick who, on his retirement in 1929, was replaced by Hutton.

He experimented in the auto-lithography process in which the artist’s designs drawn directly onto the plate are printed on a mechanical off-set litho press. His aim was to find a process for making high volume, affordable, colour illustrations for children’s books and he was instrumental in the establishment of the highly successful Puffin imprint for Penguin Books. He also wrote and illustrated the 1945 classic of children’s books A Picture History of Britain, which ranged from pre-history to the 1940s. The Oxford University Press issued a facsimile edition of this in 2007.

Hutton also exhibited paintings at the Royal Academy, the London Group, the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, the Redfern Gallery and elsewhere. The British Museum, the Tate Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum and National Gallery of Canada are among public collections which hold examples of his work.