Graphic Eric Thake

So there is Eric Thake working away at Paton’s Advertising Agency in Melbourne. For 30 years. Then at some point he moves to the University of Melbourne working in their Visual Aids Unit. Plus working as a medical illustrator recording surgical procedures at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Feeding a family.

Meanwhile he is working away on his linocuts.

In 1941 he sent a linocut Christmas card to his friends and everyone loved the card so much that it became a tradition up to 1975 when the only thing stopping him was his failing eyesight.

The habit of horses standing end to end was something that made him laugh. He drew these horses on his trip up North and then ten years later used the image on one of his Christmas cards and titled it the The Wrong Horse. A lovely little tragic idiom.

| Eric Thake, Sketchbook 3, State Library of Victoria, 1945 |

| Eric Thake, The Wrong Horse, 1955 |

Here is Thake playing model for one of his works.

He has popped himself in front of an impromptu cyclorama to get the right silhouette.

| Eric Thake, 1962 |

And out pops this Christmas card.

He depicts a visitor to the National Gallery of Victoria puzzling over a bust of Albert Einstein by the English sculptor Jacob Epstein, confused by the similarity of the names. Funny old malapropisms.

| Eric Thake, In the Melbourne Gallery: ‘Epstein, Einstein? I can never remember!’, 1962 |

Take a bow, Eric Thake.

Julia Ritson

One comment

  1. Anonymous

    Wow, I feel lucky that my family were the recipients of many of Eric’s lino Christmas cards when we were neighbours in Kew Victoria in the 1970’s. Of course as a child I didn’t appreciate Eric as an artist. Now I am nearly 50 and an artist myself, reduction lino prints are my passion, I am amazed and greatly appreciate his work. Thanks for showing so much about Eric here. I wish I could know him now, I think he would have had a lot to share with me.

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