John Copley was a prolific printmaker and painter. Born in Manchester, he studied at the local art school and later at the Royal Academy Schools in London. He took up lithography and was a founding member of the Senefelder Club, formed to promote lithography as a fine art medium. He married the artist Ethel Gabain, who was one of the few women of her generation to make a living as a lithographer (she also made a niche for herself as a portraitist of women), and together they traveled extensively in Italy, which inspired much of their finest work. Gabain was commissioned to paint a series of works during the war, notably on the Women’s Voluntary Service, and on the theme of evacuation. Copley was awarded a prize at the First International Exhibition of Lithography and Wood Engraving at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1929/30.
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