The five volumes of Lakeland Sketchbooks surely constitute one of the finest achievements of Alfred Wainwright as an artist. Published between 1968 and 1973, many of the scenes depicted are based on photographs he had taken years previously.
The aim of this Wainwright Society project is to celebrate AW’s fine artistic achievement, and to create a contemporary record of the 400 scenes that he drew with such a fine touch. All members of the Society are invited to take part in the project. All you have to do is to find the location of any of the drawings, and take a photograph of the scene depicted by Wainwright in his drawing.
The books themselves contain diagrams which help in finding the viewpoints. This section of the website shows the original drawings, against which are set the members’ modern photographs which best capture the spirit of the original artwork. Once completed, the end product will be a reference archive of all the drawings in the Lakeland Sketchbooks, with comparison photographs to identify the changes which may have taken place to the landscape or buildings in the subsequent years. Comments and updates will be invited in future years to make the legacy of the sketchbooks an on-going resource, as well as a testimony to AW.
This is not a competition. There is no entry fee and no prizes. It is great fun to do - a bit like a treasure hunt in the case of some drawings - and you will, hopefully, have the thrill of seeing your work as part of the archive, as well as learning more about AW’s skill as an artist: how carefully his pictures are composed, with clever use of viewpoints and interesting foregrounds. Go out there and stand where the great man stood!
The Society gives special thanks to The Wainwright Estate and Frances Lincoln Ltd, with whose kind permission the sketches are reproduced.