Page 6 - April 2017
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who taught printmaking; and David McKee   exhibition that I purchased an excellent
       and Tony Ross, both successful illustrators   book, Graphic World of Paul Peter Piech
       of children’s books; but the one we   by Zoe Whitley from which I have drawn
       admired most was Paul Peter Piech.    some of the information about his life.
         I happened to see on Twitter that there     Paul Peter Piech was an American. He
       was an exhibition of his work at the   was born in Brooklyn in 1920 to immigrant
       People’s History Museum in Manchester,   parents and had a passion for art from an
       so Harold and I went up there to see it.   early age. In 1942 he was painting pin-up
       How we both wished we had been more   girls on the planes of his USA air force
       inquisitive and enquiring about his history.   squadron aircraft, but it was fl ying low
       Why did we not ask more questions about   over an internment camp that shaped
       his work? Harold remembered that he   much of his art in the future. He could
       printed in his garage but neither of us had   see the desperate faces of the internees
       any idea of the work that he did.     against the barbed wire fences. ‘He felt
         We were so moved by the work in the   for the individuals and objected to war
                                             and inhumanity in any form.’ He used the
                  Peace Poster 1981
                                             images he created over and over again
                                             ‘to speak out against political corruption,
                                             anti-Semitism, racism and torture’ in his
                                             early lithographs and woodcuts.
                                               After the war Piech graduated from
                                             art school and came to live in Britain,
                                             taking up further art training. He was
                                             not impressed with the quality of the
                                             teaching, but took up printmaking under
                                             Ceri Richards at Chelsea College of Art
                                             and Design and, having tried to make a
                                             living as an artist, he went back to the
                                             states to work in advertising. He said “ I’m
                                             going back into advertising and get as far
                                             as I can, then when the time is right I can
                                             pack it in.”
                                               He worked for a variety of advertising
                                             agencies on products such as Avery
                                             Baby scales, Kia-Ora, Sun Crush Orange,
                                             Supersoft Shampoo and Dewars Whisky.
                                             His personal philosophy was that
                                             advertising was something you had to
                                             accept as long as it was not dishonest or
                                             unethical.
                                               In the 1950s he set up a studio in his
                                             Middlesex home that became the Taurus
                                             Press. He purchased a 10 x 12 Victor book
                                             press, which he used for experimental
                                             printing. In 1953 he acquired an Adana 10
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