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Enid Marx (1902–1998)

Author of English Popular and Traditional Art

Includes the names: illustrated by Enid Marx

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Enid Marx, a distant cousin of Karl Marx, was born in London. Her lifelong interest in textiles began at age four when she was given a collection of ribbon samples at a draper's shop. She attended Roedean School, where she was encouraged to draw and painted her first scarf. She studied drawing, pottery, and textile design at the Central School of Art and went on to the Royal College of Art, although she left before graduating. She went to work for the studio of textile designers Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher, and a year later started her own workshop in Hampstead, in which she designed and made hand-blocked textiles. In 1929, she began designing book covers, beginning with one for a volume on the engravings of Albrecht Dürer; later cover designs included the Scott Moncrieff translation of Proust. In the late 1930s, she and her friend Margaret Lambert began collecting scrapbooks, valentines, paper ephemera, children's books, and toys for a book entitled When Victoria Began to Reign. In 1937, she was selected by London Transport to design the seat fabrics for use on buses and underground trains. During World War II, she began writing and illustrating her own small format children's books. In 1943, furniture designer Gordon Russell invited her to become a member of the wartime Utility Furniture Panel. After the war, she began working again for publishers, especially Penguin Books. With Margaret Lambert, she wrote English Popular Art (1951) and English Popular and Traditional Art (1947). For Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, she designed the frame around the queen's portrait on British stamps, and also designed a 1976 Christmas stamp featuring medieval embroidery. In 1965, she became the head of the Department of Dress, Textiles and Ceramics at Croydon College of Art, where she worked for five years.
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