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University of Texas at Austin

Edward Carrick:

An Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Carrick, Edward, 1905-1998
Title: Edward Carrick Papers
Dates: 1900-1971
Extent: 33 document boxes, 22 oversize boxes (osb), 179 oversize files (osf) (14.28 linear feet)
Abstract: Edward Carrick was an art director and set designer for British film and theater productions from the 1920s through the 1960s. The Edward Carrick Papers, 1900-1971, consist of art designs, photographs, scripts, programs, production documents, manuscripts, clippings, correspondence, and printed material. The bulk of the collection documents Carrick's own work as a production designer in the British film industry from the 1920s to the 1960s, with additional materials Carrick collected from other British designers, as well as materials related to American and European films.
Call Number: Film Collection FI-00005
Language: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish
Access: Open for research. A set blueprint for Captain Boycott is restricted from access due to its fragile condition. An advance appointment is required to view photographic negatives in the Reading Room.

Administrative Information

Acquisition: Purchase, 1972 (R5052)
Processed by: Shane Slay, 2005; Ancelyn Krivak, 2012, 2015

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Edward Carrick (born Edward Anthony Craig in London on January 3, 1905) was an art director and set designer for British film and theater productions from the 1920s through the 1960s. In 1938, he founded the first British school dedicated to film design and production, the Associated Artist Technicians (A.A.T.) Film School. Carrick wrote several books on designing for films, and organized the first museum exhibit of British film design materials at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1948.
The son of stage designer Edward Gordon Craig and Elena Meo, Carrick lived in various locations throughout Europe as a child, including London, Florence, and Rome. From the age of twelve, he worked as an apprentice to his father, sketching Edward Gordon Craig's design ideas on paper, creating technical plans for stage productions, and photographing theaters and theatrical manuscripts. In 1923, Edward Anthony Craig's woodcut illustrations were published in his father's magazine, The Mask, under the pseudonym Edward Carrick, his first professional use of that name. Carrick continued to work on projects with his father for several years after that, and then moved to London in 1927, where he was hired by George Pearson as art designer for the Welsh-Pearson-Elder film company in 1928. After that company was liquidated and its film stock destroyed in 1930, Carrick supported himself as a freelance painter and commercial artist, notably by contributing illustrations to several volumes of poetry privately published by John Gawsworth, and also worked as a set designer for various theatrical productions in London. In 1932, Carrick obtained a position as art director for Associated Talking Pictures (A.T.P.) at the newly created Ealing Studios, designing films directed by Carol Reed and A.T.P. founder Basil Dean.
In 1936, Carrick took a job with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.'s British-based Criterion Film Productions, Ltd., designing such Fairbanks Jr. films as The Amateur Gentleman (1936), Accused (1936), and Jump for Glory (When Thief Meets Thief) (1937). Carrick left film production in 1938 to found the Associated Artist Technicians (A.A.T.) Film School, the first school in Great Britain to offer a course in designing for film. The Second World War brought an abrupt end to the school's activities, however, and Carrick joined the war effort as art director for the Ministry of Information's Crown Film Unit. Carrick built sets for many of Crown Film Unit's "story documentaries" including Target for Tonight (1941) and Fires Were Started (1943), which typically featured non-actors such as soldiers and firemen playing themselves in dramatic reconstructions of their wartime activities. A selection of stills from Crown Film Unit documentaries depicting wartime life on the home front were compiled by Carrick into a book published in 1942, Meet the Common People.
After the war, Carrick was hired by the Rank Organisation's film production unit, Independent Producers Ltd., as supervising art director of Pinewood Studios, and remained at Pinewood through the 1950s, designing films such as Captain Boycott (1947), The Blue Lagoon (1949), The Divided Heart (1954), and Tiger Bay (1959). In the 1940s Carrick continued to educate students and the general public in the fundamentals of designing for films. He wrote the first textbook on film design, Designing For Moving Pictures (1941), republished as Designing For Films (1949). As one of the founding members of The Society of British Film Art Directors and Designers, started in 1946, Carrick contributed original design materials to a special collection housed at the British Film Institute. Carrick compiled his own designs and those of other Society members such as Alfred Junge, Hein Heckroth, and Vincent Korda into the book Art and Design In the British Film in 1948. Many of the designs reproduced in that book were likely also featured in the Exhibition of British Film Art at The Victoria and Albert Museum the same year. Carrick left Independent Producers Ltd. in the early 1960s to work for Hammer Film Productions, where he art directed some of Hammer's Alfred Hitchcock-inspired psychological thrillers, including Maniac (1963), Hysteria (1964), and his final film credit, The Nanny (1965).
Carrick retired to country life in the mid-1960s with his second wife, Mary Timewell, and his two children, John and Helen. He published a biography of his father, Gordon Craig (1968), contributed to a history of Italian Baroque and Rococo theater architecture published in Milan, and gave lectures on film and theater design and his father's work. Edward Carrick died on January 21, 1998 in Thame, Oxfordshire, England.


"Carrick, Edward." BFI Film & TV Database, (accessed 10 February 2012).
Carrick, Edward. "Edward Carrick." In Art and Design In the British Film, 47-48. London: Dennis Dobson, Ltd., 1948.
Carrick, Edward. "Foreword." In Designing For Films, vii. London: The Studio Publications, 1949.
Craig, Edward. Gordon Craig: The Story of His Life. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968.
"Crown Film Unit." BFI Screenonline, (accessed 10 February 2012).
"Edward Anthony Craig."  Contemporary Authors, (accessed 10 February 2012).
Pearson, George. Flashback: The Autobiography of a British Film-Maker. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1957.

Scope and Contents

The Edward Carrick Papers, 1900-1971, consist of art designs, photographs, scripts, programs, production documents, manuscripts, clippings, correspondence, and printed material. The bulk of the collection documents Carrick's own work as a production designer in the British film industry from the 1920s to the 1960s, with additional materials Carrick collected from other British designers, as well as materials related to American and European films. The papers are organized into three series: Series I. Film Files; Series II. Writings; and Series III. Professional Papers.
Series I. Film Files is divided into five subseries. Subseries A. Films Designed by Carrick contains materials for films that Carrick was employed on as art director, set designer, or designer of publicity materials. The bulk of the materials in the Edward Carrick Papers are filed within this subseries; it includes original designs, film stills and production photographs, scripts, cost estimates and other production documents, and title cards. Subseries B. Other Films is comprised of materials related to specific films, generally original designs or still photographs, which with Carrick himself had no professional involvement. Many of the original art designs in this subseries, including sketches by Alfred Junge, Hein Heckroth, Vincent Korda, and L. P. Williams, were reproduced in Carrick's books Designing For Films and Art and Design in the British Film. In general, materials in Subseries A and B are arranged alphabetically by British release title, as these were the titles Carrick himself used to arrange and file the materials. In instances where a film was given a different title for its American release or where a provisional title was used on some of the materials associated with the film, those alternate titles are listed in parentheses after the British title. Stills for European films have been listed by the title printed or written on the still, often in the original language (e.g., French or German); these films may be known by other titles which are not listed here.
Subseries C. Film Topics and Subseries D. Studio Files are collections of material used by Carrick for research or for reproduction in his book Designing For Films. Groupings in these subseries follow Carrick's original arrangement and many of the folders contain brief notes written by Carrick about the material. Subseries C. Film Topics contains photographs of art designs and production photographs filed by film designer and by nationality, as well as a collection of behind-the-scenes photographs that depict various technical aspects of filmmaking (e.g., technicians building sets, ships, and models, and various types of camera and lighting set-ups). Also in this subseries is a collection of articles and clippings arranged by topic, covering such subjects as the development of color film processes, censorship in films, and profiles of various film studios and film personalities. Subseries D. Studio Files contains clippings, photographs, maps, and organizational documents from a variety of British studios. Subseries E. Crown Film Unit documents Carrick's work for the Ministry of Information during World War II and contains printed material such as programs, brochures, and reports as well as film stills from Crown Film Unit productions.
Series II. Writings contains printed articles and manuscript drafts of various pieces by Edward Carrick (including portions of his book Designing For Moving Pictures) and by other writers, including Carrick's father, Edward Gordon Craig. Also in this series are several folders containing film bibliographies, publishers' catalogs of film books, and guides to the holdings of various film libraries.
Series III. Professional Papers is divided into five subseries. Series A. Correspondence contains a small amount of correspondence related to Carrick's professional activities and personal letters from his friend and one-time employer George Pearson. Series B. Film Organizations contains materials from several film-related organizations that Carrick was a member of, including the Association of Cinematograph and Allied Technicians and the British Film Institute. Subseries C. Other Works contains one item, a sketch for a print advertisement featuring the actress Kay Kendall. Subseries D. Teaching Files contains printed materials, correspondence, and notes related to Carrick's own A.A.T. Film School, as well as brochures from other film schools and clippings on film education. Subseries E. Victoria and Albert Museum Exhibition of British Film Art is composed of clippings about the 1948 Exhibition of British Film Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and a poster and text panel used in that exhibit.

Related Material

Other Carrick related materials at the Ransom Center are located in the James Roose-Evans Papers (MS-03602), the Edward Gordon Craig Art Collection (AR-00048), the Edward Gordon Craig Literary File Photography Collection (PH- 02703), and the Edward Carrick Photography Collection (PH-00277). The Edward Carrick Art Collection (AR-00355) contains 14 drawings by Carrick.
Researchers of British film design may also be interested in the Alfred Junge Papers (FI-00016) and the B. J. Simmons & Co. Costume Design Records (PA-00008), held at the Center.

Separated Material

The pictorial record for Captain Boycott has been transferred to the Ransom Center's cold storage; a digital copy of this item is available for patron access. Film strips from movies art directed by Carrick have also been removed from their original location and transferred to the Center's cold storage.

Index Terms


Pearson, George, 1875-1973


Carrick, Edward, 1905-1998
Motion pictures--Art direction
Motion pictures--Great Britain

Document Types


Container List

Oversize boxes Container 34-54   
Request entire Container 34-54