Kenneth Steel lived and worked in Sheffield all his life but his artistic achievements spread far beyond that city. In late 2020 the first book to study his life and work, written by Edward Yardley, will be published . Furthermore, the first major exhibition of his work since his death is being organised by Museums Sheffield and has now been delayed until mid 2021.
Steel was a highly regarded printmaker in his early career. A full catalogue raisonne of all Kenneth Steel's published line engravings and drypoints will feature in the forthcoming book. Furthermore Steel became one of British Railways top poster designers between 1948 and 1964 and a catalogue raisonne of all his railway posters is also included.
This line engraving with drypoint is Steel's tour de force published in 1935. The first full catalogue raisonne of all his 43 published prints will form a section of the forthcoming book currently planned to be published in late 2020
From 1923 onwards Kenneth was painting regularly and started exhibited his watercolours, oils and engravings locally in Sheffield, notably at the Heeley Art Club and Hallamshire Sketch Club.However in 1932 he secured a contract with the print publishers, James Connell and Sons and annually published line engraving and drypoint prints both before and after the War. In 1935 he exhibited two of these prints at the Royal Academy and then in November 1935 he became the youngest elected member of the Royal Society of British Artists. His work in watercolour was shown at three one man exhibitions in London in 1934 and 1937 and Dublin in 1938. After WW2 he diversified into the fields of perspective drawings and commercial art. This included railway posters and carriage prints. His colourful late oil paintings are a revelation.