Jonathan Christie’s book, George Smart, The Tailor of Frant: Artist in cloth & Velvet Figures was published by Unicorn Press in March 2016 and is now available in your local bookshop, online or direct from the publisher who are offering a 25% on the cover price. Visit www.unicornpress.org for more information.
The first book dedicated to George Smart, The Tailor of Frant
Beautifully produced, this monograph of an almost forgotten Folk Artist tells the tale of George Smart, an eccentric tailor and self-styled Artist in Cloth & Velvet Figures. Through the small fragments known about his life and over 70 examples of his artwork, many specially shot for the book, the tale of this tailor is told in one book for the first time.
George Smart rediscovered
Since his death in 1846, George Smart has remained in the shadows, being only mentioned in a few general books and pamphlets; a subject reduced to the marginalia of Folk Art. The 1960s saw a few collectors beginning to take notice of him again, and over the following decades his artwork has silently passed among a dedicated group of dealers and enthusiasts. Then, in 2014, the Tate Britain included twenty-one artworks by him within their British Folk Art exhibition in London. The spotlight was once again on George Smart.
George Smart’s Life & Work now within one volume
Jonathan Christie’s book on George Smart is set out in three parts:
- The Fragments of a Patchwork Life
This chapter pulls together the small amount of information currently known about George Smart; his profession, his house and workshop, his family, his notoriety during his time in Frant, his printed labels, and ultimately, his pauper’s death.
- Of Cloth & Velvet They’re Prepared
The central chapter explores and reveals all of Smart’s themes and characters from Old Bright the Postman and The Goosewoman, to The Earth Stopper and his silhouetted dummyboards. Detailed close-ups of Smart’s artwork, explanations to their geographical locations, many supporting local images, and descriptions of each artwork, helps the reader build a picture of this enterprising artisan.
- The Professor of Peculiar Art
The last chapter discusses Smart’s world; his inspiration, his working practices, his influences, and his legacy.