Birgit Skiold (1923-82)
Swedish-born printmaker and modernist artist who moved to London in 1948 and studied printmaking at the Regent Street Polytechnic. Through her innovative techniques as a printmaker, inspiring lecturer and founder of the first open access professional print workshop in England, Skiold undoubtedly was an important figure in British printmaking. The Print Workshop as it was called, was inspired by Stanley Hayter’s atelier 17 set up, and it attracted some of the best-known printmakers in the world, including Jim Dine, Victor Pasmore and David Hockney. She was a noted member of the London art scene and became known as a pioneer in championing the status of printmaking as art, and experimenting with techniques including embossing, mixed media, Xerox printing and collage. As well as advising fellow artists, she was a renowned printmaker in her own right. Her life is commemorated in an award for innovating printmaking, the international Grand Prize for Printmaking. Students at The Royal College of Art, Central School of Art and Chelsea School of Art, amongst others, benefitted from her printmaking lectures, and she taught workshops in universities in the USA, Sweden and Japan before her untimely and early death in 1982. The Victoria & Albert Museum acquired the Birgit Skiöld Archive in 1997.