Joseph Pennell was an American etcher, lithographer and illustrator. He was born in 1857 and began working as a clerk while he took evening classes at the Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art. He then went to study at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. On finishing his studies he became a full-time illustrator.
He moved to London following the footsteps of his friend James McNeill Whistler. In 1884 he had settled in London and began teaching at the Slade School of Art. He wrote Whistler’s biography in 1906.
Pennell visited Sheffield twice, for the first time in 1883 to illustrate an article by William H Riding in 'Harper's Monthly Magazine' and the second in 1916 to illustrate 'War Work in Progress'.
During the First World War, Pennell moved back to the United States, where he produced propaganda posters.
During his career he produced over 900 etchings and mezzotints and more than 600 lithographs. He specialised in highly detailed architectural and landscape subjects. He became one of America’s most talented etchers and helped drive the etching revival.
He died in 1926.