William E.C. Morgan

1903 - 1979

see works by this artist




William E.C. Morgan was a highly skilled wood engraver who was to become one of the principal protagionists of the re-introduction of original line engraving to England during the 1920's. Having been awarded the Prix de Rome for wood engraving in 1924, W.E.C.Morgan spent three years in Italy and it was there that he began line engraving on copper. He went on to produce some of the finest and most elaborate line engravings of the period. Fifty-one titles of his printed works have now been traced; however, examples of some of these works have yet come to light. Almost all of his fine line engravings date from the short period 1926 to 1932. Following the almost total collapse of the market for original prints, he turned away from printmaking save for one isolated work in 1938. In later life William E.C. Morgan retired to Switzerland.

As a printmaker William E.C. Morgan did not comply with contemporary developments in the art of line engraving and harboured a healthy dislike of what he considered to be the scratchy freedom of modern etching style. Instead, he preferred to nurture the old skills of fine line engraving, turning to the more serious outlook and the perfection of technique found during the Renaissance, his principal source of inspiration being the work of Albrecht Durer.

W.E.C.Morgan was a close friend of fellow Rome scholars Barbara Hepworth and John Skeaping, with whom he exhibited in shows dedicated exclusively to the work of these three artists.