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Giles Waterfield

(b London, 1756; d London, Jan 7, 1811).

English painter and art collector of Swiss descent. Born to a family of Swiss watchmakers in London, Bourgeois was apprenticed as a boy to P. J. de Loutherbourg. The latter heavily influenced his art, which was to elevate him to membership of the Royal Academy in 1793. Bourgeois specialized in landscape and genre scenes and achieved recognition in his own day with works such as Tiger Hunt and William Tell (both c. 1790; London, Dulwich Pict. Gal.), but his works are no longer regarded as of any note.

Bourgeois was linked from an early age with Noël Desenfans, who in effect adopted him when his father left London for Switzerland. Desenfans promoted Bourgeois’s reputation as an artist and involved him in his own activities as a picture dealer. Bourgeois became passionately interested in buying paintings, and in the last 15 years of his life bought considerable numbers, sometimes creating financial problems for the partnership. His taste was characteristic of the traditional Grand Manner of his time, concentrating on the great names of the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly academic works and paintings of the Netherlandish schools....

Article

Elizabeth Bonython

[pseud. Summerly, Felix]

(b Bath, July 15, 1808; d London, April 18, 1882).

English art administrator, industrial designer and museum director. His art education began at the age of 15, when he learnt watercolour technique from David Cox and perspective drawing from Charles Wild (1781–1835). In 1826 Cole met the philosopher John Stuart Mill, under whose influence he became a lifelong Benthamite; Cole’s reform of English design was determined by his commitment to Utilitarianism.

In 1823 Cole began working for the Public Record Office. His complaints about its inefficiency led to the reform of the Record Commission, of which he became Assistant Keeper in 1838. In the same year he was involved in the introduction of the Penny Post. In 1843 he commissioned John Callcott Horsley to design the first commercial Christmas card. He also wrote children’s books and tourist guides under the name Felix Summerly, a pseudonym he had already used for articles and pamphlets.

In 1846 Cole designed the Felix Summerly Tea Service, produced by ...

Article

Marta Galicki

(b Stockholm, April 25, 1709; d Stockholm, Nov 9, 1777).

Swedish architect, administrator, designer and collector. Considered the most technically orientated of 18th-century Swedish architects, he studied mechanics under the engineer Christoffer Polhem (1661–1751) and architecture and drawing with Carl Hårleman and continued his studies in Paris and Rome, while recruiting artisans for work on the Royal Palace, Stockholm. He became Hårleman’s assistant during the construction of the palace and succeeded him as Superintendent of Works (1753–68). He used the Baroque style in his refurbishment of the interior of the church of St Mary, Stockholm (1760). He was also responsible for the Rococo interiors of the royal palaces of Drottningholm and Stockholm and designed several country houses, such as Svenneby in Östergötland and Myrö in Närke (both 1770). As an urban planner he is best known for his designs for bridges. He also invented (1767) a type of tiled stove that remained a typical feature of Swedish interiors (...

Article

Leland M. Roth

(b Brocton, NY, March 3, 1831; d Chicago, Oct 19, 1897).

American industrial designer and philanthropist. His father was a skilled house builder living in Albion, NY, on the Erie Canal. When the canal was widened, Pullman worked with his father, moving houses that were too near the new canal banks. He moved in 1855 to Chicago, then a small, fast-growing city built on mud-flats only slightly above the level of Lake Michigan. There were severe drainage problems, and the city authorities undertook to elevate existing buildings and build higher streets. In 1855 this work had just begun, and Pullman brought with him the expertise needed to move buildings. Within a year he had established a thriving business.

During the winter, Pullman returned to his family in Albion, experiencing first-hand the rigours involved in long-distance rail travel, and he therefore formed a partnership in 1858 to build railway sleeping-cars. The early models enjoyed modest success and encouraged him to produce a larger, more luxurious version. Built during the winter of ...

Article

(b Papendrecht, 1922)

Dutch furniture designer, collector and patron. Having originally trained as an architectural draughtsman, he became one of the most important furniture designers in the Netherlands after World War II. From 1947 he worked as a buyer, salesman and designer in the furniture department of the Bijenkorf store in Amsterdam. From 1955 to 1974 he designed for the furniture manufacturer ’t Spectrum in Bergeijk. Visser’s utilitarian concept of furniture was tempered by his interest in craftsmanship and his desire to produce unique works. Until 1955 he designed simple, well-constructed wooden furniture, using mostly natural pine. About 1955 he and his wife, Mia, moved into a house in Bergeijk, which had been designed and built for them by Gerrit Rietveld, and which they filled with furniture designed by Visser and his colleagues. In 1959 they began seriously to collect art by contemporary artists and enlarged their house with the addition of a gallery designed by ...