Tui or Parson Bird Prosthemadera Novae Zealandiae. From: 'A history of the birds of New Zealand' by Walter Lawry Buller | OUR Heritage

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Photograph of Robert Gibbings, his wife Moira and twin sons (1931) reproduced from Matrix 9




Winter 1989


Z119 MD79


Andoversford, Gloucestershire: Whittington Press


Robert Gibbings was born in Cork, Ireland on 23 March 1889. His question: ‘Is it very foolish of me to try to be an artist?’ to artist Noel Rooke (fellow founder of the Society of Wood Engravers) received the reply: What else could you do? Rooke also added: ‘Why don’t you do wood-engraving? It will help you.’ So his artistic career began. Not only was Gibbings a major figure in the revival of wood engraving in the 20th century, but his ownership of The Golden Cockerel Press meant the publication of many classics in the field of private press production. Gibbings married twice, eventually living with his second wife’s sister Patience Empson. He wrote and illustrated travelogues and natural history books based on his travels, which included Tonga, Samoa and New Zealand. In 1937 he was appointed a lecturer in typography, book production and illustration at Reading University. This superb artist died on 19 January 1958.


___, “Photograph of Robert Gibbings, his wife Moira and twin sons (1931) reproduced from Matrix 9,” | OUR Heritage, accessed October 23, 2018,

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