stone carving

A suggestion: for Frederick H. Evans (1853 – 1943) to be recognized as, if not the first, then an early surf photographer. He’s better know, of course, for portraits of intellectual Victorians, and cathedrals. (Selections of his work are in the Art Institute of Chicago, the V&A, etc.) But consider what he says about his The Sea of Steps, 1903, of the stairs to the Chapter House and the bridge to Vicar’s Close, in Wells Cathedral:

“The beautiful curve of the steps on the right is for all the world like the surge of great wave that will presently break and subside into smaller ones like those at the top of the picture.” (From The Linked Ring by Margaret Harker, 1979.)

from the Collection of Dorothy Norman, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Evans also does some more experimental or abstract works: the intricate traces from ‘twin-elliptic pendulum curves made on a Goold’s instrument’ and the ‘foot of parasite of queen bee’, about 1883. Both from the J. Paul Getty Museum:

I’ll be coming back to Wells Cathedral as it has some other surfing connections. But if you’re really in the mood, you can start seeing surf boards everywhere, including in:

Westminster Abbey no 31 (1911)

Thinking of waves of stone, this is a drawing that Mervyn Peake didn’t use, as far as I know, in the Gormenghast books published in his lifetime, of Titus leaving while the structure of the world crashes down:

from the Henry Boxer Gallery