September 4, 2013 at 4:13 pm
This from Steve Oles, ASAI founding Member…
Don, I thought I would forward this message from one of our founders Paul Stevenson Oles…
It’s almost always sad, particularly for those of a certain age, to witness the fading of an era–especially one of optimism and growth.
Eric Monk was pivotal in the founding of what could be called the forerunner of ASAI, the British Society of Architectural Illustrators.
For the founders of our Society, he was generously informative and crucially supportive of our efforts to establish the new American organization. He was, as well, a kind–if quirkily British–friend to many early members.
He, and his era, will be missed.
PSOSeptember 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm
This from Japan
It’s has been a while since the VAD Exhibition with UIA congress in Tokyo.
I have never forgotten what you have done for us and all the kind cooperation.
My friend,Chris Lock informed me that SAI founder Eric Monk was passed away.
As ASAI Delegate for Asia, Our condolences go out to his family and relatives
in deepest respect for all he did for the world of Architectural Illustration.
And hoping him that Rest In Peace.
I also informed this issue to JARA President, Miyazakaki.
ASAI Delegate for Asia
Former ASAI PresidentSeptember 4, 2013 at 4:33 pm
This from Ben Johnson
Thank you for letting me know about Eric Monk.
He is a person so many people owe a great deal to, not just the forming of The Society but everything that was connected with its formation, the greater respect for Architectural illustration ,its role in promoting contemporary architecture, the position of the illustrator as a communicator to a broad audience and the encouragement of specialized education.
We should all raise a glass to a modest talented and great man.
Please pass on my condolences to Tim and his family,
very best wishes
BEN JOHNSONSeptember 5, 2013 at 10:41 am
This from JARA
Dear Don Coe
The member of JARA joins with me in extending to you our deepest sympathy on the passing of Mr. Eric Monk.
I have heard of his great enthusiasm for an architectural illustration and The SAI.
We would like to appreciate for the achievement he left for us and our profession.
Japan Architectural Renderers Association
The president / Takehiko MiyazakiSeptember 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm
As published in the Daily Telegraph 11 Sept 2013
Eric Monk, who has died aged 90, founded the Society of Architectural Illustration (SAI) and was an authority on the history of keys and locks.
His book Keys: Their History and Collection, published in 1974, remains in print and traces the earliest examples — simple wooden cylinders used in Ancient Egypt from around 4,000 BC — to the present day.
The Greeks, Monk tells us in the text, produced enormous wooden keys for wealthy owners who would employ a slave to carry a bunch of them around; the Romans had metal keys, which they brought to Britain. He covers the story of how the latch was succeeded by the lock and key; the development of warded locks and elaborate keys; and the innovations introduced to confound the lock picker.
His book is primarily aimed at the collector, and he delights in the artistry, ingenuity and decoration which craftsmen have brought to their products.
He himself was a collector, over the years amassing several hundred examples, the oldest of which is Roman. Some he displayed in a cabinet, others he mounted on boards on the walls of his home. Many of them were found in antiques shops and junk shops, and Monk observed: “No doubt antique dealers with some knowledge of antique keys do exist, but so far the author has failed to meet one.”
He also made keys himself, primarily replicas of old keys that appealed to him. He would make a pattern in wood, then send it to a foundry to be cast in bronze.
The son of an engineer, Eric Maurice Monk was born in London on September 26 1921 and educated at Mitcham Grammar School. From an early age he showed a skill at art, and he spent much of his youth cycling around the country with a sketch book in which he recorded the buildings which attracted his attention.
In 1938 he enlisted in the RAF, serving in South Wales, Rhodesia and, as a wireless operator, in Iraq. On being demobbed he worked as a map-maker with the Ordnance Survey, then as a New Town planning draughtsman with the Crawley Development Corporation, and later as an architectural design equipment salesman.
He then became self-employed, earning a living with fine line drawings of buildings near his home at Minchinhampton in the Cotswolds. Churches, pubs and hotels were among the drawings he produced on commission.
In a pre-computer age, Monk was often asked to make exact drawings of buildings that were still at the planning stage, so that the public could get an accurate idea of what they would look like; and in 1975 he founded the Society of Architectural Illustration.
Originally called the Society of Architectural and Industrial Illustrators, it soon had more than 100 of the country’s top illustrators as members (today there are around 200).
Its purpose is to encourage the use of the architectural perspective as an important part of the communication process between the architect and the general public, and its patrons have included the architect and urban designer Gordon Cullen, Sir Hugh Casson and the Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman.
Similar organisations have since been established in other parts of the world, including the United States, Australia and Japan.
Eric Monk married, in 1947, Doris Smart. She died in 2002, and he is survived by their son; a daughter predeceased him.
Eric Monk, born September 26 1922, died August 17 2013
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