Muirhead Bone

Scottish 1876-1953



Initially starting out as a student of architecture at the Glasgow School of Art, Muirhead Bone soon discovered he had a preference for drawing and printmaking. Though he studied painting and lithography, it was his skill with drypoint and etching that would elevate him to fame.


Bone’s first exhibition was in London, at Carfax Gallery in 1902. Gaining early recognition for his etchings and drawings, Bone also acquired a reputation as a book illustrator. Said to be an equal of Rembrant and Whistler, Bone was once described by John Taylor Arms—a prominent American printmaker and evaluator—as “the most accomplished drypointer who ever lived.”


Drawing on his printmaking skills and his architectural background, Bone was appointed Britain’s first official war artist in 1916. Before and after the war, Bone spent time travelling and working throughout Europe, some of his most successful work being executed in Spain. He also spent time in the 1920s travelling and working in America, exhibiting at the Knoedler Gallery, New York.


Back home, he became Sir Muirhead Bone when he was honoured with a knighthood in 1927. He continued to work throughout his life, and did another stint as a war artist in the Second World War.


Bone’s work is highly collectable today. He can be found in most major collections throughout Europe and America, including London’s Tate Gallery, the National Gallery of Great Britain, and the Imperial War Museum.