James Joshua Guthrie

1874 - 1952

Although born in Glasgow, the son of an iron merchant. The family moved to London when he was still a young child. While working in the family metal business he studied part-time at Heatherley's School of Fine Art and at the British Museum Students' Group. He became an artist, typographer and printer. Inspired by William Blake and William Morris, Guthrie founding The Elf magazine in 1895 and the Pear Tree Press in 1899 in order to produce hand-crafted and fine quality books in the arts and crafts tradition. His book designs and illustrations drew inspiration from the Romantic poets and medieval manuscripts. He published his own books, often being responsible for the processes. His graphic work is sometimes experimental and often intense in feeling. The British Museum hold a large collection of his illustrations.

His son was the artist Robin Guthrie