Ada Shrimpton Giles Biography

Ada Shrimpton Giles




At this time, there is little information that can be gleaned about English printmaker Ada Shrimpton Giles. A trained painter, the hallmark of her printmaking style is a delicate watercolor effect, lending a freedom rarely seen in many color prints of the day.

Born Ada Matilda Shrimpton in England in 1858, she exhibited paintings at the Royal Academy and with the Society of Women Artists beginning in 1889. In 1907 she met and married reknowned artist William Giles, a fellow Brit who inspired her to try printmaking. Together the artists experimented with color printing techniques, essentially applying woodcut theory to metal plates and printing them relief. (Elizabeth Harvey-Lee notes in her catalog, "Mistresses of the Graphic Arts," that Ada's first print in this technique, "Almond Blossoms in the Apennines," 1911, predates her more well-known husband's own first attempt.) The couple, who married at the British Consulate in Venice, traveled frequently and captured their surroundings as they went. Eventually, with Ada's financial backing, William founded "Color Print Magazine" (1924 - 1926).

Ada Shrimpton Giles also exhibited with Society of Graver Printers from 1913 to 1925, the year she died. Her work remains quiet scarce.