- 1926-1956 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
1382 pen-and-ink sketches and a small number of other items.
Name of creator
Karl Wood (1888-1958) was born in King's Newton, Melbourne, Derbyshire. He later settled in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire where he was art master at Gainsborough grammar school. He had his own art studio and undertook private tuition in several subjects including painting, piano and singing lessons. Painting tuition resulted in sketching bicycle tours into Lincolnshire with his pupils. His first windmill painting was in 1926 and by 1956 he had completed 1394 windmill paintings. It was Karl Wood's intention to publish a book on British windmills to be called The Twilight of the mills, based on his extensive travels by bicycle, but this was never completed. Karl Wood's paintings are now housed in the Usher Art Gallery, Lincoln.
For further biographical information on Karl Wood, see 'Windmill Wood: A Biography of Midlands Artist Karl Salsbury Wood' by Tony Shaw: http://tonyshaw3.blogspot.co.uk/2007/10/preface-karl-salsbury-wood-is_29.html
The sketches came to the Mills Archive in 2008 from the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, where they were found in the collection of Frank Gregory. They seem at one time to have belonged to Thomas J Mason - SHOR-1118066, his notebook, contains a list of the sketches, and the scraps of paper found with the sketches are clearly in the same hand, as are the notes on the reverse of each sketch giving approximate geographical location (reproduced in the entry for each sketch in this catalogue). T J Mason's collection passed to Martin Mason, and was then sold; letter 46 in FWGC-1106833 from Stephen Buckland to Frank Gregory describes the sale of the Martin Mason collection. No reference is made to the Wood drawings; however, as they ended up in Frank Gregory's collection it seems likely that he purchased them at this time. The sketches are stored in order of M number. On this catalogue they have been arranged into series corresponding with the sections of the 'Check List'.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Scope and content
Pen-and-ink sketches of UK windmills. These correspond to the watercolour paintings now held by Lincolnshire Museums - each sketch has an M number, and the corresponding painting can be found by consulting 'A Check List of Windmill Paintings by Karl Wood'.
The dates written on each sketch, and used in the date field on this catalogue are the same as those given for the paintings in the check list - these are the dates of Karl Wood's visits to the mills. Notes written on some of these sketches, however, suggest that they were produced at a later time (see for example M112). This suggests that the sketches were copied from the paintings.
It is also noteworthy that where the check list lists two paintings of the same mill, there is only ever one sketch. When Wood painted a mill twice he used the same number, differentiating with a letter (e.g. M21a and M21b) in all such cases only one painting has been used as the basis for a sketch, although sometimes the number written on it still includes a letter (e.g. sketch M21a). M1171 and M1171a in this collection are different - they are two sketches based on the same painting, and are both labelled only M1171- the 'a' has been added to ID of the catalogue entry to differentiate the two.
Taking these facts into account it is possible that the sketches were intended for Karl Wood's book 'The Twilight of the Mills' which, according to the circular letter reproduced in the check list was to have included mainly black and white images.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions governing access
This collection may be consulted free of charge at the Mills Archive; please email email@example.com to arrange an appointment.
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Catalogued 2012 - 2013 by David Neaves. Collection level description by Nathanael Hodge.
Wilson, Catherine, 'A Check List of Windmill Paintings by Karl Wood' (Lincolnshire County Council, 1982)
Shaw, Tony 'Windmill Wood: A Biography of Midlands Artist Karl Salsbury Wood' http://tonyshaw3.blogspot.co.uk/2007/10/preface-karl-salsbury-wood-is_29.html