John Craske papers

Scope and Content

Papers relating to artist and fisherman John Craske, 1881-1943; particularly to exhibitions of his work in America, 1940 - 1950, and in Aldeburgh, 1970 - 1980, including:

- Files kept by Elizabeth Wade White on the exhibition and sales of John Craske's work in the USA, including catalogues, publicity, and correspondence between Elizabeth Wade White and John and Laura Craske

- Peter Pears' files relating to John Craske, including correspondence and administrative files related to Aldeburgh Festival exhibitions. Also includes material on Sylvia Townsend Warner's Tribute Concert at Snape Maltings in 1977, including correspondence

- Files collated by Rosamund Strode relating to holdings of Craske's work at The Red House, Aldeburgh and Snape Maltings. Included are photographs of John Craske; biographical writings by John and Laura Craske; and lists of John Craske works held by Peter Pears and the Aldeburgh Foundation.

See also: correspondence from Sylvia Townsend Warner to Peter Pears, held in PP correspondence.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Craske (1881 - 1943) was born in Sheringham and worked as a fisherman until he was diagnosed with a brain abscess; he subsequently turned to painting and embroidery. He produced, and is mostly known for, embroidered pictures of ships and the sea. Craske was 'discovered' by the poet Valentine Ackland in 1927 or 1928, who introduced his work to artists and writers including her partners Sylvia Townsend Warner and Elizabeth Wade White. Craske's work achieved modest success during his lifetime, with exhibitions in London, New York and Washington. Major posthumous exhibitions include those arranged by Elizabeth Wade White in New York and by Peter Pears in Aldeburgh.

Access Information


Archivist's Note

Compiled by Abigail Williams, Nov 2017

Custodial History

The collection comprises three main sources: papers collected by Elizabeth Wade White and sent to Peter Pears in the 1970s; papers collected by Peter Pears in the 1970s; and papers compiled by Rosamund Strode for the Britten-Pears Foundation in the 1980s - 1990s.

Related Material

The Britten-Pears Foundation holds a number of art works by Craske. They can be found by searching the Britten-Pears Foundation's integrated catalogue under the category 'Art' with the keyword 'Craske'.