Eric Thake 'The Itchy Owl' - Collected by Ian

Every year, modernist Eric Thake would send his friends a hand-made Christmas card. Original linocut prints, these cards have since become canonical, each observing a changing nation through one its most distinct voices. There are notes of humour, critique and poeticism.

The first card Thake sent, ‘The Itchy Owl’ (1941) is a graphic of an owl. It exemplifies the artist’s concision and sense of humour with his owl cocked wing suggestive of a scratch. As the Second World War persisted, wanted to gift his recipients a moment of comic relief.

Represented across numerous public collections, including at the National Gallery of Victoria, this is a museum-quality work. It speaks to Thake’s remarkable wit and ingenuity, a prize for collectors of modernist, surrealist and Australian art. 


Eric THAKE (1904 - 1982)
'The Itchy Owl' 1941
linocut on paper
Image Size: 17 x 13 cm
Dimensions: 17 x 25 cm overall sheet size, scored to fold
Signed: Signed and dated lower right: Eric Thake 41; titled lower left: The Itchy Owl (No inscription in card.)
Comes with Letter of Provenance

Impressions of this work are at the:
National Gallery of Australia, accession number: 73.257.1
National Gallery of Victoria, accession number: P113-1974
Art Gallery of New South Wales, accession number: DA39.1967
Maitland Regional Art Gallery, NSW, accession number: 2007.178.a

Condition: Very Good. There are a few marks across the lower section of the page and image. These seem to be stable marks and only one on the artwork's image, refer to photos. 

© The Artist or Assignee