High Jinks in Paradise

High Jinks in Paradise
Eric Gill (1882–1940)
with Denis Tegetmeier and Anthony Foster
Incised Portland stone, [c. 1937]

These two panels, Alleluia and Creator, were designed and carved by British artist Eric Gill on commission of architect Oliver Hill (1887–1968). The design for Alleluia, intended for the dining room of Hill’s Art Deco monument, The Midland Hotel, Morecambe, Lancashire, was rejected by the owners as too salacious for the clientele. Hill asked Gill to realize the work in a South Kensington furniture shop he designed near Harrod’s. The stones were later reinstalled in Hill’s house in Cliveden Place, London, and paired with Creator which Hill had acquired.

Arthur Eric Rowton Gill was a British sculptor, typeface designer, stonecutter, woodcut artist, and printmaker, associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. His typeface designs, including Gill Sans and Perpetua, remain favorites even in digital rendition. More than one hundred books written, designed, or printed by Eric Gill, along with works by William Morris, Charles St John Hornby, Lucien Pissarro, T. J. Cobden Sanderson, and others in the Bridwell Library collection, are evidence of the care, inventiveness, richness, elegance, and far-ranging influence inherent to British Fine Presses of the late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century. Gill, who converted from Anglican to Catholic in 1913, was a controversial figure during his lifetime, freely expressing his belief in the intertwining of spirituality and the erotic. Considered to be among the prodigious British artists of the twentieth century Gill’s sexual conduct as revealed in his personal diaries has brought to bear questions regarding the appropriate display of his art.

Gill was assisted by his students Denis Tegetmeier (1895–1987), engraver, stone-carver, and Gill’s son-in-law, and Anthony Noel Henry Foster (1909–1957), a sculptor who completed several of Gill’s projects after Gill’s death.

Eric Gill Alleluia.jpg

Eric Gill's Alleluia

Eric Gill Creation.jpg

Eric Gill's Creator

AEU9089 Gill drawing-100dpi.jpg

Eric Gill's prepartory drawing

First Floor
High Jinks in Paradise