Kenneth Steel lived and worked in Sheffield all his life but his artistic achievements spread far beyond that city. In 2020 ,the first book to study his life and work, and written by Edward Yardley, was published by Colley Books .
Furthermore, the first major exhibition of his work since his death , was recently organised by Museums Sheffield at the Weston Park Museum during the first half of 2022.
Steel was a highly regarded printmaker in his early career. A full catalogue raisonne of all Kenneth Steel's published line engravings and drypoints features in the recently published book available from this website. 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 include in the book.
Steel's dynamic Quad Royal poster of Durham opposite was an exhibit in the superb exhibition RAILWAY POSTERS FROM THE GOLDEN AGE OF TRAVEL at Ushaw College, Durham during mid 2022
This line engraving with drypoint of Durham is Steel's tour de force published in 1935. The first full catalogue raisonne of all his 43 published prints forms an important section of the book published in 2020 and is available on this website
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.
A drawing dated 1942 of which Steel later wrote that " I made this drawing over several evenings during the summer months" adding that for the composition "there were dozens of different kinds of objects , giving a splendid chance for linear perspective" It is a superb War time drawing, his dated works are rare.