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Gordon Campbell

[Società Cooperativa Aemilia Ars]

Workshop founded in Bologna in 1898 by the architect Alfonso Rubbiani (1848–1913), modelled on the English Arts and Crafts Movement; its formal name was Società Cooperativa Aemilia Ars. At first the workshop produced a wide range of products, including glass and pottery, but from 1902 to 1914 its principal products were textiles, especially lace....

Article

Marta Galicki

English group of artists, designers, architects and craftsmen formed in 1884. In 1883 five young assistants from R. Norman Shaw’s office formed the St George’s Art Society. The Society discussed its worries about the growing practical and ideological separation of art and architecture, and the indifference to their ideas for reform in architecture, shown by the official institutions such as the Royal Academy and the Royal Institute of British Architects. They soon realized that there was a need for a larger, broader society. In 1884 these same architects—Gerald Horsley (1862–1917), W. R. Lethaby, Mervyn Macartney (1853–1932), Ernest Newton and E. S. Prior—joined with another group, The Fifteen, led by Lewis F. Day and Walter Crane, to form the Art Workers’ Guild. The Guild actively promoted the theory of the interdependence of the arts, and its members were encouraged through lectures and discussion to understand each other’s profession. Designers, artists, architects and craftsmen were brought together as equals....

Article

Alan Crawford

Informal movement in architecture and the decorative arts that championed the unity of the arts, the experience of the individual craftsman, and the qualities of materials and construction in the work itself.

The Arts and Crafts Movement developed in the second half of the 19th century and lasted well into the 20th, drawing its support from progressive artists, architects and designers, philanthropists, amateurs, and middle-class women seeking work in the home. They set up small workshops apart from the world of industry, revived old techniques, and revered the humble household objects of pre-industrial times. The movement was strongest in the industrializing countries of northern Europe and in the USA, and it can best be understood as an unfocused reaction against industrialization. Although quixotic in its anti-industrialism, it was not unique; indeed it was only one among several late 19th-century reform movements, such as the Garden City movement, vegetarianism, and folksong revivals, that set the Romantic values of nature and folk culture against the artificiality of modern life....

Article

Alan Crawford

(b Isleworth, Middx, May 17, 1863; d Godden Green, Kent, May 23, 1942).

English designer, writer, architect and social reformer . He was educated at King’s College, Cambridge. As a young man he was deeply influenced by the teachings of John Ruskin and William Morris, and particularly by their vision of creative workmanship in the Middle Ages; such a vision made work in modern times seem like mechanical drudgery. Ashbee played many parts and might be thought a dilettante; but his purpose was always to give a practical expression to what he had learnt from Ruskin and Morris. An intense and rather isolated figure, he found security in a life dedicated to making the world a better place.

In 1888, while he was training to be an architect in the office of G. F. Bodley and Thomas Garner (1839–1906), Ashbee set up the Guild and School of Handicraft in the East End of London. The School lasted only until 1895, but the Guild, a craft workshop that combined the ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement with a romantic, apolitical socialism, was to be the focus of Ashbee’s work for the next 20 years. There were five guildsmen at first, making furniture and base metalwork. In ...

Article

James D. Kornwolf

(b Ramsgate, Oct 23, 1865; d Brighton, Feb 10, 1945).

English architect, interior designer, garden designer and writer . He was articled to Charles Davis (1827–1902), City Architect of Bath, from 1886 until 1889 but learnt little and was largely self-taught. In 1889 he started his own practice on the Isle of Man, where he built a number of buildings, including his own Red House, Douglas (1893). He was a leading member of the second-generation Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and was among the first to build on the simpler, more abstract and stylized designs of C. F. A. Voysey, a refinement of the ideas of William Morris, Philip Webb, R. Norman Shaw and others from the period 1860–90. From about 1890 until World War I, the Arts and Crafts Movement, as represented by Baillie Scott, Voysey, C. R. Ashbee, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Parker & Unwin and others, became the most important international force in architecture, interior design, landscape and urban planning. The work of these architects influenced Adolf Loos and Josef Hoffmann in Austria, Joseph Maria Olbrich and Peter Behrens in Germany, Eliel Saarinen and others in Scandinavia, and Frank Lloyd Wright, Irving Gill, Greene & Greene in the USA....

Article

Gordon Campbell

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 ...

Article

(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 ...

Article

Roderick Gradidge

(Jellings)

(b Nov 24, 1867; d Painswick, Glos, Feb 7, 1939).

English architect. He was articled to Wilson & Aldwinckle in 1883. In 1888, when he was sketching Abbeville Cathedral in France, he met John Ruskin and they toured Italy together. Ruskin persuaded Blow to give up his architectural training to learn about building, and in 1891 Blow was apprenticed to a working mason in Newcastle upon Tyne. In 1892 he won the RIBA Pugin Scholarship, the same year that he was elected to the Art Workers’ Guild.

In 1897 Blow acted as clerk of works for Ernest Gimson in the construction of Lea and Stoneywell cottages in Charnwood Forest, Leics. Built among rocky outcrops in hilly country, Stoneywell Cottage (1898) blends with its surroundings and is an extreme manifestation of the Arts and Crafts Movement style, which exerted considerable influence on Blow.

In 1900 he built Happisburg Manor, Cromer, Norfolk, on a butterfly plan, a variation on the X-plan. This striking house, with gables, thatched roof and large chimneys, draws on the Arts and Crafts tradition of incorporating local building techniques and materials, in this case flint, used to form patterns. In ...

Article

(b Leiden, Oct 19, 1877; d Zoeterwoude, Oct 23, 1933).

Dutch potter and sculptor. He trained as a drawing teacher but took a particular interest in bookbinding, decorative woodcuts and household pottery. From the example of the Arts and Crafts Movement he learnt the value of traditional techniques and craftsmanship. In 1898 he settled in Gouda in order to perfect his technical knowledge of pottery-making. Three years later he started his own ceramics firm in Leiderdorp. His ceramics are characterized by their intentionally plain shapes, combined with mostly geometric linear ornament and frequently with sculptural decoration applied in low relief. His work attracted international attention and gained awards at several exhibitions, including the Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte Decorativa in Turin (1902) and the Exposition Universelle et Internationale in Brussels (1910). Around 1907 Brouwer began to experiment with large-scale ceramic decoration. His terracotta ornaments and façade sculptures were greatly admired by contemporary architects, who secured him important commissions in this field, for example the ...

Article

John Maidment

(b Pensford, Somerset, Mar 24, 1864; d Toorak, Victoria, May 31, 1949).

Australian architect of English birth. Articled in Barnstaple to Alexander Lauder (1880–84), Butler moved to J. D. Sedding’s office in London in 1885, also travelling and sketching widely in Britain and Europe. In 1888 Butler emigrated to Melbourne, initially in partnership with Beverley Ussher (1868–1908) from 1889–95 and successively George Inskip (fl 1879–1913) from 1896–1905, Ernest R. Bradshaw from 1907–16, his nephew Richard Butler from 1916–36, Marcus Martin from 1926–31 and Hugh Pettit from 1926–39. He was the most important direct link with the English Arts and Crafts movement at the time of his arrival and he soon secured many domestic commissions for wealthy clients, which comprise the major portion of his work. Notable elements of his work include prominent Dutch gables and half-timbered gables, sweeping parapets, the widespread adoption of bay windows, the use of rough cast and brick and also sweeping rooflines in Marseilles tiles; some of the plans were unconventional, with diagonally-placed wings. Later, Butler occasionally moved to a refined classicism and had a long interest in the art of landscape design and urban planning. His ‘Melbourne Mansions’ (...

Article

Kathy Niblett

(b Wimbledon, London, May 26, 1901; d Truro, Cornwall, Feb 11, 1983).

English potter. As a young boy he watched Edwin Beer Fishley (1832–1911) potting at Fremington, Devon. He won a scholarship to Oxford University but almost failed to graduate because he made pots rather than study in the holidays. In 1923 he joined Bernard Leach as a student in the Leach Pottery at St Ives, Cornwall. They shared an interest in English slipware, and in 1926 Cardew left St Ives to set up his own workshop where he planned to revive the tradition. He leased the pottery at Greet, near Winchcombe, Glos, where, from 1926 until 1939, he worked with earthenware clay (e.g. earthenware pie dish, c. 1938; Bristol, Mus. & A.G.), assisted by Elijah Comfort (d 1945), Sidney Tustin (b 1914), Charles Tustin (b 1921) and Raymond Finch (b 1914), his partner and ultimate owner of Winchcombe Pottery. In 1939...

Article

Style rooted in 19th-century antiquarian studies of ancient Celtic art in Britain and Ireland. It was a mainly decorative style and first appeared in the 1840s, remaining fashionable from the 1890s to c. 1914 and lingering on through the 1920s. Derived from the complex, intertwining, linear motifs of ancient Celtic ornament, it was employed in metalwork, jewellery, embroidery, wall decoration, wood inlay, stone-carving and textiles. The Celtic Revival was closely related to the English Arts and Crafts Movement’s aim of social and artistic reform and was part of the general upsurge of Romantic interest in the Middle Ages. Its chief characteristics were raised bosses, tightly enmeshed roundels and bands of sinuous, criss-crossing lines, similar to but more abstract than Art Nouveau designs. Sources of inspiration were such Celtic antiquities as the Tara Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice (both 8th century ad; Dublin, N. Mus.), the Battersea Shield (c. 2nd century ...

Article

Stuart Evans

English group of painters, designers and craftsmen, active between c. 1883 and 1892. It was one of the earliest Arts and Crafts groups and initiated the practice of attributing designs to individual craftsmen, which became a firm principle of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Its platform was the ‘unity of the arts’, and its aim was ‘to render all branches of art the sphere, no longer of the businessman, but of the artist’. Although output was limited and sporadic, the group had considerable influence by exhibiting its products and publishing a quarterly magazine, the Century Guild Hobby Horse (1884–92). Perhaps 20 craftsmen in all were associated with the Guild, but the only members were A. H. Mackmurdo, Herbert Horne and Selwyn Image.

The Guild’s work was mainly domestic. It offered textiles, wallpapers, furniture, stained glass, metalwork, decorative painting and architectural design, all of which were displayed at the ...

Article

Henry James Bartlett-Ellis

(b Alnwick, Northumb., Dec 2, 1840; d London, Sept 7, 1922).

English bookbinder and writer. Between 1859 and 1863 he attended Owens College (now Victoria University of Manchester). He then read classics at Trinity College, Cambridge University, and later studied law there. He was called to the Bar in 1871 and was immediately commissioned to work for the London & North Western Railway. Becoming ill through overwork, he was sent in 1881 to recuperate in Siena, where he met the suffragette Anne Cobden (d 1926). He married her in 1882, taking her surname as part of his. Their exchange of enlightened ideas led him to consider a more satisfying way of life, and in 1883 he responded to the suggestion of Jane Morris, William Morris’s wife, that he pursue bookbinding in London. He became an apprentice to Roger de Coverly and in 1887 won the Society of Arts prize. Although Cobden-Sanderson was close to Morris and was influenced by him, he disagreed with the aesthetic realized in the books produced by Morris’s Kelmscott Press (...

Article

Ian Molyneux

(b London, April 20, 1881; d Perth, June 20, 1938).

Australian architect of English birth. He was articled to Thomas Lockwood and Sons at Chester, and later he worked for Guy Dawber. In 1904 he emigrated to Western Australia due to ill-health; he practised architecture in Bunbury (1906–13) and then established a partnership with Joseph Herbert Eales (b1864) in Perth. Cohen was largely instrumental in bringing the ideas of the Arts and Crafts Movement direct to Western Australia. His earliest Australian work included interpretations of the local vernacular homestead in the Arts and Crafts manner, for example Reynolds Homestead (1906), Busselton. His work was later also influenced by vernacular revivals in other countries such as South Africa, for example Kings Park Grandstand (1925) in Perth, as well as by the Georgian Revival in England, which inspired his own house (1922) in Karoo Street, South Perth. His skill as a designer made him prominent in the search for an Australian style suited to a predominantly British society living in a Mediterranean climate. Another example of his work is the Crowther House (...

Article

Gordon Campbell

English school of furniture design. In 1892 Ernest Gimson and Ernest and Sidney Barnsley moved from London to the Cotswolds, where they made such Arts and Crafts furniture as rush-seated, ladder-backed chairs, plain oak pieces and more elaborate inlaid cabinets. They were joined in 1902 by C(harles) R(obert) Ashbee, who moved the workshops of the Guild of Handicraft to Chipping Campden, Glos. In ...

Article

British, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 15 August 1845, in Liverpool; died 14 March 1915, in Horsham (West Sussex).

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, engraver, illustrator, designer. Genre scenes, figures, landscapes, landscapes with figures. Designs for wallpapers.

Arts and Crafts.

Walter Crane studied under his father Thomas Crane and under William Linton. He was associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement early on in his career, but only later began the work that made him famous. He designed wallpaper and illustrated books. He also wrote to clarify his artistic intentions and to provide a kind of code to his design practice. He became director of Manchester School of Art....

Article

Christopher Newall

(b Liverpool, Aug 15, 1845; d Horsham, W. Sussex, March 14, 1915).

English painter, illustrator, designer, writer and teacher. He showed artistic inclinations as a boy and was encouraged to draw by his father, the portrait painter and miniaturist Thomas Crane (1808–59). A series of illustrations to Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott (Cambridge, MA, Harvard U., Houghton Lib.) was shown first to Ruskin, who praised the use of colour, and then to the engraver William James Linton, to whom Crane was apprenticed in 1859. From 1859 to 1862 Crane learnt a technique of exact and economical draughtsmanship on woodblocks. His early illustrative works included vignette wood-engravings for John R. Capel Wise’s The New Forest: Its History and its Scenery (1862).

During the mid-1860s Crane evolved his own style of children’s book illustration. These so-called ‘toy books’, printed in colour by Edmund Evans, included The History of Jenny Wren and The Fairy Ship. Crane introduced new levels of artistic sophistication to the art of illustration: after ...

Article

British, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1862, in Birmingham; died 4 June 1928.

Painter, watercolourist, draughtsman, illustrator, worker in precious metals, designer. Religious subjects, allegorical subjects, portraits. Jewellery.

Arts and Crafts.

Arthur Joseph Gaskin studied at the Birmingham School of Art, where he later taught. He was a member of the Arts and Crafts movement founded by William Morris, whose aim was to revitalise the decorative arts. From 1899, together with his wife Georgina Cave France, he created gold and silver jewellery, sometimes decorated with enamel. In 1902, he replaced R. Catterson Smith as director of the Birmingham School of Jewellery. He exhibited paintings at the Royal Academy in London in 1889 and 1890 and jewellery at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle....

Article

Stephen Stuart-Smith

(Rowton)

(b Brighton, Feb 22, 1882; d Harefield, Middx [now in London], Nov 17, 1940).

English sculptor, letter-cutter, typographic designer, calligrapher, engraver, writer and teacher. He received a traditional training at Chichester Technical and Art School (1897–1900), where he first developed an interest in lettering. He also became fascinated by the Anglo-Saxon and Norman stone-carvings in Chichester Cathedral. In 1900 Gill moved to London to become a pupil of William Douglas Caröe (1857–1938), architect to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. He took classes in practical masonry at Westminster Institute and in writing and illuminating at the Central School of Art and Design, where he was deeply influenced by the calligrapher Edward Johnston. Johnston’s meticulous training was to be a perfect preparation for Gill’s first commissions for three-dimensional inscriptions in stone, the foundation stone for Caröe’s St Barnabas and St James the Greater in Walthamstow, London, and the lettering for the lychgate at Charles Harrison Townsend’s St Mary’s, Great Warley, Essex. Further commissions followed after Gill left Caröe in ...