[ Laurence Irving, Hollywood set designer. ] Two Typed Letters Signed ('Laurence' and 'Laurence Irving') to 'Teddy' [ set designer 'Edward Carrick',i.e. Edward Craig ], regarding the film industry and his membership of the Society of Art Directors.

Laurence Irving (1897-1988), Hollywood set designer, artist and RAF Squadron Leader, grandson of the actor Sir Henry Irving [ 'Edward Carrick' [ Edward Craig (1905-1998) ],; Society of Art Directors ]
Publication details: 
Both on his letterhead, 11 Apple Tree Yard. 23 August and 24 November 1949.
SKU: 17960

Both items in good condition, lightly-aged. ONE: 2pp., 4to. Having returned from 'a rather long painting expedition to France' he finds that 'circumstances have arisen in regard to the administration of the Society' [ the Society of British Film Art Directors and Designers, of which Craig was a leading light], and in the light of these circumstances Irving feels compelled to resign. 'It is [...] unlikely that I shall design any more films. Life is short and there is so much to be done that even if anybody wished me to, I should hesitate to commit myself to the months not only of work but of preoccupation which a film production involves. Quite apart from this I feel that the principles of film design which, however wrongly, I have always advocated, are being abandoned, naturally, in the face of economic pressure and the general registration of film making. I am old fashioned enough to believe that the situation into which films have fallen is very largely due to the insistance [sic] of those who have misguidedly and not very successfully tried to make it into an industry rather than a medium of expression for groups of artists of enterprise and imagination.' Two more paragraphs follow before the letter ends. TWO: 1p., 4to. Following the last letter Irving has been offered honorary membership of the Society, and writes: 'I do not feel that I deserve such consideration, for you and several others have striven hard to maintain the prestige of Art Directors in the gruelling factory conditions of commercial studios through good and bad times. However, as you well know, to an artist, the only commendation or criticism which really touches him is that of his fellow craftsmen [...]'. He offers his assistance to the Society, before ending: 'I heard from Flower that your meeting in London was a success, and that you are going to get out drawings and plans for the proposed Elizabethan theatre. I am very glad to hear this, and I know you will find the Stratford people charming to deal with.'