Julian Trevelyan, printmaker, painter, and poet, was born in Surrey, England on February 20, 1910. He was educated at Bedales School and his first published prints were included in the school magazine, The Ray. Trevelyan was twenty-one years old when he joined Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17 in Paris where he began his formal training. During the early 1930s he worked alongside Ernst, Kokoschka, Miro, Masson and Picasso, experimenting with techniques and developing his own unique style, incorporating everyday objects and portraying them with a dreamlike quality.
In early 1934, Trevelyan returned to England but continued to rely on technical advice from Hayter. The following year he set up his etching studio at Durham Wharf in Hammersmith. It was here that he continued with the methods of etching he learned from Hayter, and developed a certain intimacy with the medium, constantly pushing it in new directions.
Between 1955 and 1963, Trevelyan worked as Head of the Etching Department at the Royal College of Art. Because of his enthusiasm in his work and the desire to share it with others, Trevelyan became a highly influential teacher, whose students included David Hockney, Ron Kitaj, and Norman Ackroyd. He was an important leader of modern print techniques and today is regarded as a silent driving force behind the etching revolution of the 1960s.
Trevelyan was of the founding members of the Printmaker’s Council to which he was elected President in 1973. In 1987, he was appointed Academician of the Royal Academy of Arts, London. His work is represented in numerous university collections as well as the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Tate, the Museum of Croydon, the National Museum Wales, and the National Portrait Gallery of London.
Julian Trevelyan died on July 12, 1988, in Hammersmith and The Julian Trevelyan Award for printmaking was established that year.