London has been written about, painted, sketched, photographed, and depicted in pretty much any and every creative medium available to human hands, but Edward Bawden's linocuts of England's capital are some of the coolest depictions of the city, ever ever ever.

The Floral Hall, Covent Garden, 1967, lithograph after linocut


The artist and graphic designer was born in Essex in 1903. He remained a rural boy at heart for the length of his life and career, but got to know the bustling metropolis as a student on scholarship at the Royal College of Art in the 1922, and later doing ad work for Twinings, Westminster Bank, and, famously, the London Underground through the 1960s.

Nine London Monuments – St Paul's, 1966, linocut



His linocut—relief carving into a sheet of linoleum—and lithograph techniques were absolutely, positively on point; architectural facades and interiors are composed of strong geometric elements, but there's still so much personality imbued in each and every line.

Changing The Guard: London's Daily Military Tattoos, 1925, lithograph

The Higgins Bedford has an exhibition of Bawden's work up at the moment, and because I live in San Francisco and won't be able to make it, I hope someone who's in the area can go and tell me what it's like to see this stuff up close. For the rest of us (who may or may not have left our hearts in London years ago…), here are some of the lovely works on display.

The Coal Exchange, 1963, color autolithograph

Covent Garden, 1967, lithograph after linocut

Liverpool Street Station, 1960, linocut

Kew Gardens, 1936, lithograph after linocut

Detail from A General Guide to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Spring & Easter 1923

The Stock Exchange, 1963, colour autolithograph

Nine London Monuments – The Albert Bridge, 1966, linocut on paper

Nine London Monuments – The Tower of London, 1966, linocut

Detail from A General Guide to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Spring & Easter 1923