Artist Collections

Edward Bouverie Hoyton


Edward Bouverie Hoyton was born in Lewisham and studied etching under Stanley Anderson at Goldsmiths' College. He was one of a small group of talented etchersof pastoral landscapes, that included Graham Sutherland and Paul Drury, who sought inspiration in William Blake, Samuel Palmer and the densely etched plates of F. L. Griggs. In 1926 he won the coveted Prix de Rome, spent the next three years at the British School in Rome, and travelled widely in Italy, France, Greece and Spain. He became Lecturer in Engraving at Leeds College of Art in 1934 and in 1941 was appointed Principal of Penzance School of Art. He remained a close friend of Graham Sutherland who stayed with him during the war when he was drawing the Cornish tin miners, and it was Hoyton who introduced Sutherland to Ben Nicholson, Naum Gabo and Adrian Stokes. He retired from teaching in 1965 to concentrate fully on his etching. Bouverie Hoyton was elected to the National Society (1931), the Royal Society of British Artists (1936) and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Artists (1958). Until 1981 he was Vice-President and Chairman of the St Ives Society of Artists. He was a regular exhibitor at the Society and at the Royal Academy. His work is represented in major collections world wide, and it has been especially popular in the United States of America.

The Edward Bouverie Hoyton Collection was purchased in February 2000 with the support of the MGC/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and The National Art Collections Fund. It represents Hoyton's activities as a printmaker and spans six decades, The etchings fall into quite distinct subject groups and cover his student years (in the early 1920s), his time in Rome and the Mediterranean (1926-c.1930), Devon and the West Country (early 1930s), Yorkshire (late 1930s), his experiments with abstraction (1940s), and his return to landscape etchings of St Ives — Sea and Sail, St Michael's Mount and the Isles of Scilly (post 1950). The Collection comprises 215 etchings (in some cases with several states of each, the original drawing and copper plate), 6 woodcuts and 66 drawings/watercolours.

Amongst them many early states and rare impressions that have been inscribed or 'touched' with ink and paint, providing excellent material for the researcher to examine and understand the development of the image. There are many unique items, such as the etched portraits of Graham Sutherland and Naum Gabo, and others of Mussolini and the Pope. The drawings and watercolours are either directly related to the prints, or demonstrate Hoyton's variety of subjects and interests and his versatility in a range of media.

The accompanying Bouverie Hoyton Archive consists of assorted correspondence, the largest group of letters being from Graham and Kathleen Sutherland, and excellent material relating the Prix de Rome and Bassett-Gray Studio. There are 416 photographs of family, friends and forebears, art works, travels abroad (some of which relate to the prints) and several studio photographs of Bouverie Hoyton. There are examples of commercial design and advertising, catalogues, press cuttings, Fine Art Society invoices, Rome Scholarship ephemera, photographs and correspondence. Of interest are the unpublished manuscripts for his novel More Things in Heaven and autobiographical short stories The Art of Craft and The Craft of Art. In addition the Archive holds a small selection of books owned by Bouverie Hoyton on printmaking, including P. G. Hamerton's seminal text, Etchers and Etching (3rd ed., 1880) with illustrations printed from original plates by Palmer, Whistler, Haden, Legros et al.