Alfred Edward (Ernest) Warner (1879-1968)
Born in London 27 May 1879, Alfred Edward Warner, ‘Teddy’ to friends, studied printing and commercial art at a local Polytechnic college. He learnt the techniques of stone lithography, woodcut printing, etching, airbrush techniques and scraperboard. By the time he married, he ran his own commercial studio in London. In 1911 he travelled to Australia with his in-laws. Finding employment opportunities difficult, he moved to Auckland, New Zealand where he was head of job-printing at ‘The Star’. It was at this time he made his first etchings.
Returning to Australia in about 1919, he worked as a commercial artist. In c.1922 he once more began etching and exhibiting, earning a considerable reputation for his work. In 1930 his daughter began to help in the studio preparing plates and printing and in 1936 he was joined by his son, who printed many works. In the mid 1930s Alfred Warner and his wife travelled in a caravan around NSW and Victoria collecting material for his prints. In the late 1930s he produced a series of colour linocuts. Designed by Alfred they were cut by his daughter and printed by his son - hence the signature, ‘The Warners’.
During the depression years Warner also produced popular etchings under the pseudonyms RALPH MALCOLM WARNER, C. JACK, C. J. DODD, BRUETON, G. MARLER and G. MARTIN. There were also a range of unsigned cards. Warner also produced screenprints towards the end of the 1930s, having taught himself from American magazines. He specialised in producing photographic stencils and also sold screenprinting equipment that he designed and made.
He does not seem to have made any relief prints and only a few etchings after 1938. Warner died in 1968.
Roger Butler, Prints and printmaking NGA, 2009