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John Christian

(Coley)

(b Birmingham, Aug 28, 1833; d London, June 17, 1898).

English painter and decorative artist. He was the leading figure in the second phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. His paintings of subjects from medieval legend and Classical mythology and his designs for stained glass, tapestry and many other media played an important part in the Aesthetic Movement and the history of international Symbolism.

He was the only surviving child of Edward Richard Jones, who ran a small carving and gilding business in the centre of Birmingham, and Elizabeth Coley, the daughter of a prosperous jeweller. Christened Edward Coley Burne Jones, he was called simply Edward Jones until c. 1860 when he adopted the surname Burne-Jones. From an early age he drew prolifically but with little guidance and no intention of becoming an artist. In 1844 he entered the local grammar school, King Edward’s, destined for a career in engineering. It was probably in this connection that in 1848 he attended evening classes at the Birmingham School of Design. By the time he left school in ...

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Peter Stansky

(b Walthamstow [now in London], March 24, 1834; d London, Oct 3, 1896).

English designer, writer and activist. His importance as both a designer and propagandist for the arts cannot easily be overestimated, and his influence has continued to be felt throughout the 20th century. He was a committed Socialist whose aim was that, as in the Middle Ages, art should be for the people and by the people, a view expressed in several of his writings. After abandoning his training as an architect, he studied painting among members of the Pre-Raphaelites. In 1861 he founded his own firm, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. (from 1875 Morris & Co.), which produced stained glass, furniture, wallpaper and fabrics (see §3 below). Morris’s interests constantly led him into new activities such as his last enterprise, the Kelmscott Press (see §5 below). In 1950 his home at Walthamstow became the William Morris Gallery. The William Morris Society was founded in 1956, and it publishes a biannual journal and quarterly newsletter....