Hugh Street was a publisher in London who traded under the name of Hugh Evelyn (London) Limited. Evelyn was his middle name. He died more than ten years ago, an uncle with no children. A few months after his death this cache of his prints was discovered in storage, wrapped in heavy oil or waxed Kraft paper. All but four of the images here are now between 50 and 60 years old. They had lain in storage for upwards of 30 years.
A quantity of these prints have been purchased for use by interior designers here and overseas. Many are being used as wall galleries – two can be seen using our racing car and early aircraft prints here (from the website of a fine art supplier, Etalage UK). There is also an interesting article about wall galleries in the New York Times.
70 years ago, Hugh left the Royal Navy to pursue a career in publishing. On the desk of a friend, a skilled draughtsman, he had noticed a drawing of a railway engine. It was simple but expressive, detailed yet decorative. The drawing, by an engineer, was an experiment in lithography. This experience ignited Hugh’s decision to publish books created around such images. During the 1950’s and 1960’s Hugh commissioned a series of large-folio books of chromolithographic plates: images of cars, locomotives, ships and boats, aeroplanes and many other icons of early engineering that were beautifully drawn and lavishly printed.
Hugh thought the 18th Century print makers would themselves have used plates to exploit the detail and decoration the camera often underplayed had they lived in the 20th Century. Hugh adopted these concepts in his books: artists and skilled draughtsmen with specialised engineering knowledge making sensitive use of line-enclosing areas with exact colour in which chromolithography excelled. These images of those objects, sans background and other paraphernalia, were worthy of presentation for their own sake.
Early on Hugh also recognised a market opportunity for colourful artwork to record the history of military uniforms and of civil costume. Hugh published over 40 books all of which are long since out of print. But he decided the prints justified their own outlet. Until the end of the 1960’s Hugh had his own shop in the King’s Road, London where he sold his books alongside these prints. In the early 1970’s he decided to pursue other interests. It seems he always intended to come back to his prints when he stored them, but he never did.
What we have to offer here are nearly all the original quality prints that were part of the original print runs for those books 50 years ago. These prints were extra printer runs intended for sale as single prints. We are based in the South West of England
© Hugh Evelyn Prints: For those of you living in the South West of England within about 50 miles of Shaftesbury in North Dorset, we can mount and frame prints for you. We can normally identify mount and frame together over the internet. We cannot deal in large volumes so this bespoke arrangement really would depend on my work volume. You can see some of the prints we have mounted here. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.