This website is run as a not-for-profit venture by two Henry Rayner enthusiasts - Roger Staton and Sheilagh Wilford. They met in 2004 through an auction of some Rayner correspondence, and since then have been collaborating on researching the artist's story.
Roger Staton has been a journalist, writer and communications consultant for 40 years. He founded and ran a successful high-tech PR consultancy for 30 years.
His interest in art history (and etchings in particular) grew out of a spare time interest in prints from the early 20th century, and the frustration of finding artists who may have been well-respected in their day, but whose work has been since largely forgotten, and about whom there is little published information.
His first art biography - ‘Dorothy Woollard and the etching revival’, published in 2008 - profiled one of these ‘forgotten’ etchers and included the first ever catalogue raisonnee of her work. Roger also runs the only website devoted to the artist (click here to visit the website), using it to spread the word about the artist and her work, draw attention to the book, and post any new discoveries.
Roger’s interest in Henry Rayner was triggered by the chance find of a drypoint print by the artist in a charity shop in the World’s End area of London’s King’s Road. It quickly became apparent that there was virtually no information in the public domain about the artist, so Roger started digging. This website - and the forthcoming book - is the result.
You can email Roger directly using the email address given on the Contacts page.
Sheilagh Wilford is a former Head of Art/Textile Departments in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire secondary schools. She has a special interest in Australian art, having worked in Australia for the Northern Territory Dept. of Education and the Director of the Australian Institute for Art, and spent a year with the Groote Eylandt aborigines in their homeland centres studying their art, culture and language (Anindilyakwa).
It was Sheilagh who in 2003 discovered and rescued all the manuscripts, original etched plates, prints, paintings, drawings and other remaining material from Rayner's estate, by then languishing in a goat shed in Lincolnshire.
You can email Sheilagh directly using the email address given on the Contacts page.