Ian Mackenzie-Kerr

I always seem to be surrounded by heaps of paper including articles torn from magazines that, at the time, I must have found fascinating only to come across them weeks or months later wondering 'why?'

In a mammoth tidy-up this week I found an obituary torn from The Independent but knew exactly why. I'm just puzzled as to why I'd never heard of Ian MacKenzie-Kerr before and, having discovered him, almost lost him again.

This obituary by Alan Powers, dated 6th June 2005 (OK, so tidying up isn't my strong point) gives a detailed account of  his life and work.

MacKenzie-Kerr was a book designer at Thames and Hudson for nearly 50 years involved in the design of many illustrated books during this time. He also briefly considered a stage career and was offered Peter Cook's role in 'Beyond the Fringe' for the Australian tour.

It's this lithograph that grabbed my attention. Produced in 1956 to illustrate his article 'Notes on Toy Theatres' for ARK, the magazine of the Royal College of Art. At the RCA he was taught by Edward Ardizzone and Edward Bawden - whose influence is so evident in this image. Not just in style and colour but with its similar witty elements.

'Strong Points'  - a collection of articles written by Sir Roy Strong for The Times was illustrated with line drawings by MacKenzie-Kerr in 1985.

I'd love to find more of MacKenzie-Kerr's work. I'll have to keep hunting.