Wightwick welcomes the animals

Watercolour drawing of a lion by Philip Webb, c. 1887. ©Paul Highnam

Watercolour drawing of a lion by Philip Webb, c. 1887. ©Paul Highnam

A little while ago I mentioned that we were raising funds to purchase four drawings of animals by the Arts and Crafts designer Philip Webb (1831-1915) for Wightwick Manor. I am delighted to be able to relay that we have now acquired them.

Watercolour drawing of a hare by Philip Webb, c. 1887. ©Paul Highnam

Watercolour drawing of a hare by Philip Webb, c. 1887. ©Paul Highnam

The required sum of £190,000 was raised through donations from the public as well as substantial grants from the Art Fund, the Monument Trust and the V&A Purchase Grants Fund.

Watercolour drawing of a raven by Philip Webb, c. 1887. ©Paul Highnam

Watercolour drawing of a raven by Philip Webb, c. 1887. ©Paul Highnam

The watercolours were originally owned by Laurence W. Hodson (1864-1933), a Wolverhampton industrialist and philanthropist who lived at Compton Hall, which was furnished with Morris & Co. textiles and wallpapers.

Watercolour drawing of a fox by Philip Webb, c. 1887. ©Paul Highnam

Watercolour drawing of a fox by Philip Webb, c. 1887. ©Paul Highnam

Wightwick Manor, about a mile from Compton Hall, was built in 1887 for Theodore Mander (1853-190), a fellow industrialist, and was similarly furnished in Arts & Crafts style. The Webb animal drawings will henceforth be on display as part of the rich interiors and collections at Wightwick, reinforcing the historic link between Wolverhampton and the Arts & Crafts movement.

8 Responses to “Wightwick welcomes the animals”

  1. deana Says:

    In seeing them together, I wonder, were they studies for a larger work? Just gorgeous. I would love to visit Wightwick now!

  2. Simone Says:

    Yes, they remind me of the wall paintings at Castle Coch

  3. CherryPie Says:

    They are a lovely set of drawings. I must find time to go and revisit Wightwick soon

  4. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Deana, they are studies for a tapestry that is now in the V&A (but they were happy for us to acquire these drawings): http://bit.ly/I0QtED

    Simone, yes indeed, different designer (William Burgess), but same period and spirit: http://bit.ly/zhXR52

    Cherie, thank you – yes do go :)

  5. style court Says:

    I’m struck by how Webb almost wraps his animals with the flowers and foliage. There is a contemporary artist, Kari Herer, doing something similar with foxes and flowers. (At first glance, her work sometimes has the dreamy look of a preliminary study — sketchier drawings mixed with full-blown painted areas.)

    Love Webb’s lion — interesting to see the African native walking through English, Arts & Crafts-esqe greens.

  6. style court Says:

    Sorry, meant to add that Herer actually mixes her photography and drawings.

  7. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Courtney, yes Webb sort of ‘patternises’ the animals, doesn’t he, enveloping them in floral pattern. While at the same time depicting them with a high level of detail (indeed like Kari Herer – http://www.kariherer.com/ – in that sense).

  8. carldeacon Says:

    Raven is fantastic.

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