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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 ...

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Phylis Floyd

French term used to describe a range of European borrowings from Japanese art. It was coined in 1872 by the French critic, collector and printmaker Philippe Burty ‘to designate a new field of study—artistic, historic and ethnographic’, encompassing decorative objects with Japanese designs (similar to 18th-century Chinoiserie), paintings of scenes set in Japan, and Western paintings, prints and decorative arts influenced by Japanese aesthetics. Scholars in the 20th century have distinguished japonaiserie, the depiction of Japanese subjects or objects in a Western style, from Japonisme, the more profound influence of Japanese aesthetics on Western art.

There has been wide debate over who was the first artist in the West to discover Japanese art and over the date of this discovery. According to Bénédite, Félix Bracquemond first came under the influence of Japanese art after seeing the first volume of Katsushika Hokusai’s Hokusai manga (‘Hokusai’s ten thousand sketches’, 1814) at the printshop of ...

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Joellen Secondo

(b Norwich, 1827; d Norwich, 1881).

English designer and architect. He began his career as an architect, designing and restoring parish churches in the Gothic Revival style. In 1859 he entered into a close association with the iron and brass foundry of Barnard, Bishop & Barnard of Norwich. Jeckyll pioneered the use of the Anglo-Japanese style for furnishings. His fireplace surrounds, grates, chairs, tables and benches often incorporate roundels containing Japanese-inspired floral and geometric ornament. Jeckyll’s foliate-patterned ironwork was featured in Barnard, Bishop & Barnard’s pavilion at the International Exhibition of 1862 in London, and he designed the foundry’s cast- and wrought-iron pavilion for the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia. This two-storey structure was supported by bracketed columns elaborately decorated with a variety of birds and flowers and was surrounded by railings in the form of sunflowers, a motif that was later adapted to firedogs.

During the 1870s Jeckyll was one of several Aesthetic Movement architects and artists responsible for the interiors of 1 Holland Park, London, the home of the collector ...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

(b Navajo Reservation, 1896; d 1972).

Native American (Navajo) silversmith. Peshlakai is the son of Slender Maker of Silver, Beshtlagai-ithline-athlososigi, and nephew of Peshlagai Atsidfi and Slender Maker Old Silversmith, all foremost of the first generation of named Navajo silversmiths. Recognized among their peers as “innovators” in new forms of jewelry, his family refined and complemented the older Spanish techniques and influences from Mexican plateros. Learning the techniques and expertise of silversmithing from his father and uncles, Peshlakai became single-handedly recognized for his blending of elaborate and high-quality precise silver and turquoise jewelry work techniques. Analogous with his father’s work, he innovated and promoted stamp work and wire twist skills into uncommon, fresh artistry fashioning pieces into pioneering new forms of harmony and sturdiness. Until his death, he refined his silversmith techniques. Commencing his personalized fabrications in the 1920s, his pieces became immensely popular during the 1930s and 1940s, but his finest works were created during a period from1940 through ...

Article

Rosamond Allwood

(b Dundee, 1838; d London, Jan 28, 1881).

Scottish designer. He served an apprenticeship as a wood-carver in Dundee and ran his own carving business for two years before joining the office of Charles Edward, a local architect. Around 1856 he moved to Glasgow, working first in the practice of the architect W. N. Tait and then with Campbell Douglas (1828–1910). In 1862 he moved to Manchester, where he worked for the cabinetmakers Doveston, Bird & Hull, and by the end of the following year he was in Coventry, working for the wood- and metalworkers Skidmore’s Art Manufactures. In the mid-1860s Talbert moved to London, where he designed award-winning furniture for Holland & Sons’ stand at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1867. By 1868 he was designing furniture for Gillows of Lancaster, notably the ‘Pet’ sideboard (1873; London, V&A). He returned to Dundee to set up a design practice, and in 1868 (though dated 1867...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

(b Arizona, 1950).

American jeweler, sculptor, painter, and silversmith, of Mescalero Apache–Navajo descent. White Eagle began his career as a silversmith under the tutelage of legendary Navajo artisan Fred Peshlakai , at age five, learning by observation and developing an artistic understanding of Peshlakai’s aesthetic approach. At nine, he began making and selling his own jewelry at Union Square in Los Angeles. Later moving to Palm Springs, CA he continued to generate and sell his jewelry on the street under the date palms trees.

Always handmade, his jewelry pieces used the finest available quality of semi-precious stones. Singular details and features demonstrated his exclusive and unique artistic vision and styling. In 1973, the Yacqui artist, Art Tafoya, began a silversmith apprenticeship with White Eagle, studying the hand-stamped old style embossing skills of jewelry; he continued the historic creation of extraordinary designs.

Bold and substantial, White Eagle’s jewelry balanced a focal fluid turquoise stone against deeply carved flora and linear design lines. His pieces represented transcultural combinations of traditional Navajo silver interwoven with mainstream expectations of Native American style. He daringly counterbalanced mixed semi-precious stonework with irregular fusions of silver positive space. Smooth, amazingly detailed stamp work combined with bent offset features providing an overall asymmetrical daring quality....