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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

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

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

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 ...

Article

Barley Roscoe

(William)

(b Leicester, Dec 21, 1864; d Sapperton, nr Cirencester, Aug 12, 1919).

English architect and furniture-maker. From 1881 to 1886 he was an architectural apprentice to Isaac Barradale in Leicester, studying in the same period at Leicester School of Art. On the suggestion of William Morris, whom he heard lecture to the Secular Society in Leicester, Gimson moved to London and became articled to J. D. Sedding. While in London he met W. R. Lethaby, Ernest Barnsley and his brother Sidney Barnsley (1865–1926), fellow architectural students who shared an interest in traditional craftsmanship and furniture design. He also served on the committees of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. As a member of the Art Workers’ Guild, he studied chair-making with Philip Clissett (1817–1913) at Bosbury, near Ledbury, and plastering with the London firm of Whitcombe and Priestley; examples of his plasterwork can be seen at Avon Tyrell, Christchurch, Hants (...

Article

Phillip Dennis Cate

(b Lausanne, May 25, 1841; d Paris, Oct 23, 1917).

French illustrator, decorative artist and printmaker of Swiss birth. Before arriving in Paris in the autumn of 1871, Grasset had been apprenticed to an architect, attended the Polytechnic in Zurich and travelled to Egypt. In Paris he found employment as a fabric designer and graphic ornamentalist, which culminated in his first important project, the illustrations for Histoire des quatre fils Aymon (1883). Grasset worked in collaboration with Charles Gillot, the inventor of photo-relief printing and an influential collector of Oriental and decorative arts, in the production of this major work of Art Nouveau book design and of colour photomechanical illustration. Grasset used a combination of medieval and Near Eastern decorative motifs to frame and embellish his illustrations, but most importantly he integrated text and imagery in an innovative manner which has had a lasting influence on book illustration.

In 1881 he was commissioned by Rodolphe Salis to design furnishing in a medieval style for the latter’s new Chat Noir cabaret in Montmartre. This project brought him in direct contact with Montmartre avant-garde artists such as Adolphe Willette, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Henri Rivière and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Grasset’s numerous posters include ...

Article

David Gebhard

American architectural partnership formed in 1893 by Charles (Sumner) Greene (b Brighton, OH, 12 Oct 1868; d Carmel, CA, 11 June 1957) and his brother Henry (Mather) Greene (b Brighton, OH, 23 Jan 1870; d Pasadena, CA, 2 Oct 1954). Both studied at the Manual Training School of Washington University, St Louis, MO, Charles entering in 1883 and Henry in 1884. There they were not only taught woodworking and carpentry but were introduced to the ideals of John Ruskin and William Morris, to which the school strongly adhered. In 1888 they entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. On completion of the two-year architectural course, Henry entered the office of Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge in Boston, MA, and Charles became a draughtsman with H. Langford Warren. Later Henry worked in the office of Chamberlin & Austin, and Charles with Winslow & Wetherell.

In the early 1890s the Greenes’ parents moved to Pasadena, CA, and suggested that their sons join them in the new and developing city, which they did in ...

Article

Margaret Wagstaff

(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 ...

Article

(b Stockbridge, MA, 1866; d Santa Barbara, CA, June 17, 1915).

American architect. After graduating from Harvard University, he studied with the Boston firm of Andrews & Jacques (1889–91) and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (1892–4), Paris. On returning to the USA, he began his practice in Chicago, where he received various commissions for residential buildings. A representative example is the house (c. 1900) of Edwin S. Fechheimer, Winnetka, IL. This wood-shingled house exhibits flowing interior spaces and an interest in the natural colours and textures of building materials. The subtle contrasts of lightly stained pine beams and panels of coarse beige canvas placed between them provide a sophisticated backdrop for the handmade furniture, pottery and brass decorations, the total ensemble being a collaboration between architect and client. The interior and its contents reflect Higginson’s involvement in the Arts and Crafts Movement. In 1905 he moved to Montecito, CA, and worked in the Santa Barbara area until his death. He built several houses there in the Arts and Crafts style, including the Higginson House (...

Article

Eveline Vermeulen

(b Rotterdam, Nov 5, 1887; d New Milton, Hants, April 25, 1979).

Dutch architect and designer. He studied from 1906 to 1911 at the Birmingham School of Art, where he was influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement, the Glasgow school and the theories of W. R. Lethaby. He then studied (1911–14) at the Architectural Association in London, where he met David Bomberg and became acquainted with the Futurist and Vorticist avant-garde. His first executed designs—Løvdalla (1911), Huis ter Heide, near Utrecht, and Augustus John’s house (1913–14), Chelsea, London—show a predilection for varied façades and simple floor-plans; details are executed with great care. In 1914 he went to the USA to study the architecture and theories of Frank Lloyd Wright. The summer-house for J. N. Verloop (1914) and the country villa for A. B. Henny (1915–19), both at Huis ter Heide, reflect his admiration for Wright, and the latter, nicknamed the ‘Concrete villa’ for its inventive use of concrete-frame construction, established van ’t Hoff’s reputation. The house was adopted, first by the architects associated with ...

Article

Eduard F. Sekler

(Franz Maria)

(b Pirnitz, Moravia [now Brtnice, Czech Republic], Dec 15, 1870; d Vienna, May 15, 1956).

Austrian architect, designer and draughtsman. He had a natural gift for creating beautiful forms, and he proceeded to make the most of it during a career that spanned more than 50 years. In this half century the conditions and nature of architectural practice changed profoundly, but Hoffmann’s fundamental approach remained the same. He relied on his intuition to produce works that were unmistakably his own in their formal and compositional treatment, yet mirrored all stylistic changes in the European architectural scene.

He grew up as the mayor’s son in a small market town in rural surroundings and throughout his life remained emotionally attached to his birthplace and to the arts and crafts of the Moravian peasantry. After hesitations about his career choice, he enrolled in the department of building of the Staatsgewerbeschule at Brünn (now Brno, Czech Republic). After a year of practice in Würzburg, Germany, in October 1892 he gained admission to ...

Article

Ian J. Lochhead

(b Lahore, April 17, 1876; d Auckland, Feb 3, 1960).

New Zealand architect. He was educated in England before emigrating to New Zealand in 1885. He was articled to the Dunedin architect J. L. Salmond (1868–1950) in 1896. From 1901 to 1904 he worked in England, first for A. Beresford Pite, then for the Housing Division of the London County Council and briefly for E. P. Warren (1856–1937) and Temple Moore. On his return to New Zealand, Hooper’s knowledge and experience of recent English architecture was immediately put to use in the series of houses inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement, which he built in Dunedin between 1906 and 1923. His best works, for example 26 Heriot Row (1911–13), Dunedin, and 319 York Place (1916), Dunedin, were strongly influenced by the work of C. F. A. Voysey, although they are more compact in form and employ a wider range of exterior finishes. Hooper’s designs helped to redirect New Zealand domestic architecture away from the prevalent highly decorated, late Victorian style towards a local variant of the English Domestic Revival. In ...