English family of furniture designers and artist-craftsmen. Ernest (1863–1926) and his brother Sidney (1865–1926) worked with Ernest Gimson in the design and construction of furniture in the tradition of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Sidney’s son Edward (1900–87) carried on the business at a shop established in Froxfield (Petersfield, Hants) in ...
(b London, Oct 17, 1854; d Manorbier, Dyfed, July 5, 1924).
English designer. He was educated at Winchester and Oxford, and in 1877 he was articled to the architect Basil Champneys. Encouraged by William Morris, in 1880 Benson set up his own workshop in Hammersmith specializing in metalwork. Two years later he established a foundry at Chiswick, a showroom in Kensington and a new factory at Hammersmith (all in London), equipped with machinery to mass-produce a wide range of forms, such as kettles, vases, tables, dishes and firescreens. Benson’s elegant and spare designs were admired for their modernity and minimal use of ornament. He is best known for his lamps and lighting fixtures, mostly in copper and bronze, which are fitted with flat reflective surfaces (e.g. c. 1890; London, V&A). These items were displayed in S. Bing’s Maison de l’Art Nouveau, Paris, and were used in the Morris & Co. interiors at Wightwick Manor, W. Midlands (NT), and Standen, East Grinstead, W. Sussex. Many of Benson’s designs were patented, including those for jacketed vessels, which keep hot or cold liquids at a constant temperature, and for a ‘Colander’ teapot with a button mechanism for raising the tea leaves after the tea has infused. Benson sold his designs, labelled ‘Art Metal’, through his showroom on Bond Street, which opened in ...
(b London, Sept 3, 1872; d Knotty Green, Bucks, Nov 15, 1959).
English furniture designer and writer. He was educated at Marlborough College and the Slade School of Art, London, before following an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker from 1890 to 1893, when he joined the family firm, Heal & Son, established in 1810 in London by John Harris Heal (d 1833). By 1897 furniture was produced to his designs; in 1898 he became a partner, and his first catalogue, Plain Oak Furniture, was issued, which, like Simple Bedroom Furniture (1899), contains designs in a simple Arts and Crafts style. Heal exhibited regularly at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in London. His influence was evident in the catalogues and advertising of the firm (he had an enduring interest in typography), whose design policy he increasingly directed. In 1907 he was appointed Managing Director and in 1913 chairman. His inexpensive, stylish furniture was appropriate to the new garden-city developments, and in ...
Iain Boyd Whyte
(b Seifhennersdorf, Jan 19, 1874; d Berlin, Aug 17, 1968).
German architect and furniture designer. He attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Dresden (1886–94), before moving to Munich, where he studied with Paul Hoecker (1854–1910) and Wilhelm von Diez (1839–1907), and drew caricatures for the journals Jugend and Simplicissimus, as a colleague of Olaf Gulbransson and Thomas Theodor Heine. With Peter Behrens, Hermann Obrist, Bernhard Pankok, Richard Riemerschmid and others, Paul was a founder-member of the Vereinigte Werkstätten für Kunst im Handwerk in Munich, a group dedicated to the production of well-designed furniture and works of decorative art. Paul’s early furniture designs, although aligned to Jugendstil in general concept, resisted the excessive curves and tentacles favoured by contemporary French and Belgian designers. Around 1904 Paul rejected Jugendstil in favour of a rectilinear, Neo-Biedermeier manner. His interiors for a hunting-room (see Günther, pls 58–60) at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900 and for a study (see Günther, pls 75–8) at the World’s Fair (Louisiana Purchase International Exposition) in St Louis in ...
(b Zaandijk, May 28, 1885; d Wassenaar, Sept 27, 1977).
Dutch designer and typographer . After working in the tradition of the Arts and Crafts Movement, he came into contact in 1917 with De Stijl, which fundamentally changed the course of his work. Through Vilmos Huszár and Jan Wils, he met H. P. Berlage, for whom he worked as a draughtsman, and international artists working in typographic design, such as Kurt Schwitters, El Lissitsky and Jan Tschichold. His international importance is based on typographical works, such as those he made between 1923 and 1930 for NKF, the Dutch cable works, and for PTT, the Dutch postal service. His advertisements, inspired by Dada, often used a wide range of typography and could be read as messages, poems or advertising slogans, while being appreciated simply as designs. Zwart was also active as an interior designer; his most successful work in this field was the kitchen (1938) that he designed for the ...