Blog post

Peter Campbell, 1937—2011

Leo Goretti27 October 2011

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Peter Campbell, aged 74, passed away on 25th October 2011. Peter was as an illustrator, writer, editor and book designer, who designed many covers for Verso—most recently, those of the World History series.

Peter Campbell, who has died of cancer aged 74, was the resident designer and art critic for the London Review of Books. He worked for the magazine from its first appearance in 1979 and wrote more than 300 pieces, mainly about art but also, eclectically, about such things as escalators, weeds, bicycles, bridges and hearts. He was the magazine's most prolific contributor. Frank Kermode perhaps delivered more words than he, but fewer articles.

Each fortnight from 1996 onwards, Peter did a cover illustration for the LRB. He came up with a seemingly infinite array of unpredictable images: a yacht and a starfish, a tram, two knickerbocker glories, a game of dominoes, a man walking past a lighted window at night, umbrellas in the rain and a plug in a wall socket (switched to on). The immediate freshness, colour, playfulness and surprise of these covers belied their technical skill, erudition and command of detail and artistic reference.

Please visit the Guardian to read the obituary of Peter in full and to have a look through a gallery of some of his best works.


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