M930.50.3.48 | J. H. Walker, Designer & Engraver on Wood

 
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Engraving
J. H. Walker, Designer & Engraver on Wood
John Henry Walker (1831-1899)
1850-1885, 19th century
Coloured ink on paper on supporting paper - Wood engraving
12.1 x 8.8 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
M930.50.3.48
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  Miscellaneous (671) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

It was chiefly through ads in newspapers and magazines, as well as advertising leaflets, that merchants and industrialists sought to capture public interest and boost sales. Although the importance of the message itself cannot be underestimated, the visual quality of ads became increasingly important.

While the composition and layout of copy depended on the printer's capabilities, the addition of pictorial elements called upon new types of expertise. The growth of illustrated advertising depended on the creative talents of graphic artists, especially illustrators, engravers and lithographers. At the time, woodcuts and lithography were the main techniques used to mass reproduce pictures cheaply. Black and white printing was most common, but the introduction of new processes gradually made it possible to add colour and a wider range of tones.

  • What

    The second half of the 19th century was the golden age of wood engraving. The boom in publishing, the press and advertising created a strong demand for wood engravings, until photomechanical reproduction took over towards the end of the century.

  • Where

    John Henry Walker worked in Montreal, with only brief stays elsewhere. For a long time he had his studio in Old Montreal, near the printers and booksellers.

  • When

    The second half of the 19th century was the golden age of wood engraving. The boom in publishing, the press and advertising created a strong demand for wood engravings, until photomechanical reproduction took over towards the end of the century.

  • Who

    John Henry Walker (1831-99) was one of the best-known wood engravers in Canada in the 19th century. He produced thousands of engravings and contributed cartoons to a number of humorous magazines.