Original watercolours from the Gran'pop orang-utan series
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The water pump
Clarence Lawson Wood (1878 – 1957) was born at Highgate, the grandson of the landscape painter L J Wood. He studied at the Slade School and at Heatherley’s and was the chief artist on the staff of C Arthur Pearson Ltd for a number of years. He served in the Kite Balloon Wing of the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War.
Wood’s work is usually in ink and watercolour and most of it is humorous in style and content and he was a member of the London Sketch Club. His repertoire of characters includes policemen, army officers, Stone Age people with dinosaurs and, most popularly, the orang-utan, Gran’pop, introduced in the 1930s.
Gran’pop appeared weekly in the Sketch for a number of years and his fame translated to the US, where Wood prepared at least four animated cartoons for production in Hollywood.
Lawson Wood, as he signed his work, retired from the world of illustration and lived in Kent in seclusion until he died at the age of 79.
Books illustrated include: The Red Men of the Dusk, The Bow-Wow Book, A Basket of Plums, A Box of Crackers, The Lawson Wood Nursery Rhyme Book, Lawson Wood’s Fun Fair, The Old Nursery Rhymes, Gran’pop’s Annuals (from 1935-52), Merry Monkeys, Mischief Makers, Popular Gran’pop.
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