Archive for the ‘Arts and Crafts’ Category

Animals of the forest

May 14, 2013
Study of a hare, by Philip Webb, c. 1887, pencil and watercolour on paper, 87 by 57 cm. ©Dreweatts

Study of a hare, by Philip Webb, c. 1887, pencil and watercolour on paper, 87 by 57 cm. ©Dreweatts

The four drawings shown here were made by Philip Webb (1831-1915), the Arts & Crafts architect and designer, as studies for a tapestry entitled The Forest which was woven by Morris & Co in 1887.

The Forest, tapestry, woven wool and silk on a cotton warp, designed by William Morris, Philip Webb and John Henry Dearle, woven at Merton Abbey by William Knight, John Martin and William Sleath, 1887, 121.9 by 452 cm. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London, purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund

The Forest, tapestry, woven wool and silk on a cotton warp, designed by William Morris, Philip Webb and John Henry Dearle, woven at Merton Abbey by William Knight, John Martin and William Sleath, 1887, 121.9 by 452 cm. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London, purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund

The finished tapestry is in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. The National Trust is now trying, with the V&A’s blessing, to raise the funds to purchase these drawings for the Arts & Crafts collection at Wightwick Manor.

Study of a fox, by Philip Webb, c. 1887, pencil and watercolour on paper, 89 by 58 cm. ©Dreweatts

Study of a fox, by Philip Webb, c. 1887, pencil and watercolour on paper, 89 by 58 cm. ©Dreweatts

Philip Webb was one of the leading architects and designers of the 19th century. He worked in fruitful collaboration with his friend and business partner William Morris (1834-1896).

Study of a lion, by Philip Webb, c. 1887, pencil and watercolour on paper, 85 by 72 cm. ©Dreweatts

Study of a lion, by Philip Webb, c. 1887, pencil and watercolour on paper, 85 by 72 cm. ©Dreweatts

Webb designed Morris’s first house, Red House in Bexleyheath. He also designed wallpaper, stained glass, textiles and furniture for Morris’s decorating company, Morris, Marshall & Faulkner, later Morris & Co.

Detail of the Trellis wallpaper design conceived by William Morris and incorporating birds drawn by Philip Webb. ©National Trust Images/Jonathan Gibson

Detail of the Trellis wallpaper design conceived by William Morris and incorporating birds drawn by Philip Webb. ©National Trust Images/Jonathan Gibson

In 1896 the four animal drawings were acquired by Laurence W. Hodson (1864-1933), a Wolverhampton industrialist and philanthropist who lived at Compton Hall, one mile from Wightwick Manor. Wightwick was donated to the National Trust by Sir Geoffrey Mander (1882-1962) and his second wife Rosalie Glynn Grylls, Lady Mander (1905-1988), in 1937. Ever since the Mander family and the National Trust have worked together to develop the collection of Arts & Crafts and Pre-Raphaelite art and design in the house.

Study of a raven, by Philip Webb, pencil and watercolour on paper, c. 1887, 66 by 49.5 cm. ©Dreweatts

Study of a raven, by Philip Webb, pencil and watercolour on paper, c. 1887, 66 by 49.5 cm. ©Dreweatts

We are trying to raise about £192,000 to acquire this set of four drawings. Any donations made through our Just Giving page, whether large or small, will be hugely appreciated.

Stoneywell

January 17, 2013
The south front of Stoneywell. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

The south front of Stoneywell. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

It has just been announced that the National Trust is acquiring Stoneywell, an Arts and Crafts house in Ulverscroft, Leicestershire.

The back of Stoneywell. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

The back of Stoneywell. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Stoneywell was built by the architect-designer Ernest Gimson (1864-1919) for his elder brother Sidney and his wife Jeanie. Gimson consciously used local materials and tried to fit the house harmoniously into its undulating site.

The dining room at Stoneywell, with the Barsnley table and Gimson chairs. ©National Trust/Chris Lacey

The dining room at Stoneywell, with the Barsnley table and Gimson chairs. ©National Trust/Chris Lacey

Stoneywell has remained almost unaltered and still contains items of furniture created for it, such as a Sidney Barnsley dining table and a set of Ernest Gimson ladderback chairs.

Slate steps and curved doorway at Stoneywell. ©National Trust/Chris Lacey

Slate steps and curved doorway at Stoneywell. ©National Trust/Chris Lacey

The acquisition has been made possible by grants from the Monument Trust and the J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, as well as donations from local supporters and from the Gimson family.

The eponymous well house at Stoneywell. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

The eponymous well house at Stoneywell. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

The National Trust is still raising funds to make repairs, put visitor facilities in place and allow Stoneywell to open to the public in 2014.

The stables at Stoneywell. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

The stables at Stoneywell. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Ernest Gimson’s furniture can also been seen at Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum and Rodmarton Manor. The Owlpen Manor website features a good introduction to his work.

Artists and designers unite

January 12, 2012

Lustreware plate by William De Morgan, at Wightwick Manor. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

I have just read in Museums Journal that the De Morgan Centre in Wandsworth, south London has reopened.

The Mourners, by Evelyn De Morgan, 1917, at Wightwick Manor. ©NTPL/John Hammond

This museum and study centre is devoted to the work of William and Evelyn De Morgan, an artistic couple at the heart of the Arts and Crafts movement.

The Drawing Room at Wightwick Manor, which includes Chinese, Japanese and Persian ceramics as well as some by William De Morgan. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

William De Morgan became known for his rediscovery of lustreware and his tiles and vessels with medieval and Islamic motifs.

Vase by William De Morgan, at Wightwick Manor. ©NTPL/Nadia Mackenzie

Evelyn was a succesful painter who had been the first woman to attend the Slade School of Art in London.

The Bells of San Vito, by Evelyn De Morgan, in the Pomegranate Passage at Wightwick Manor. ©NTPL/Paul Raeside

In characteristically high-minded Victorian fashion, the De Morgans were also involved in pacifism, prison reform, spiritualism and women’s rights.

'Tulip and Trellis' pattern tiles by William De Morgan, in the Visitors' Bathroom at Wightwick Manor. ©NTPL/John Hammond

Like the overlapping spheres of William and Evelyn’s lives, Arts and Crafts interiors blended art and design to create an overall aesthetic environment – as can still be seen, for instance, at Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton.

150 years of Morris & Co

August 2, 2011

'Pomona' tapestry design, with figure by Edward Burne-Jones and background by William Morris, 1884, at Wigthwick Manor. ©NTPL/Derrick E. Witty

In 1861 William Morris founded the company Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co, later known as Morris & Co, which was to spread his pioneering design throughout the world.

The Billiard Room at Wightwick. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

An exhibition celebrating the history of the company and of Morris’s work, entitled ‘The Nature of Design’, is currently running at Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton.

‘Pomegranate’ wallpaper (1866), at Wightwick. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

The former home of the Mander family, Wightwick has one of the most complete surviving Arts & Crafts interiors. The Manders mixed what they bought from the Morris & Co shop in London’s Oxford Street with their own belongings and antiques.

The Pomegranate Passage at Wightwick. ©NTPL/Paul Raeside

The exhibition shows some of the rare archival pattern books, wallpaper designs and printing blocks held in the Morris & Co archive. There are also some room sets created especially for the exhibition, showing Morris & Co’s new Archive range.  

View down into the Great Parlour at Wightwick. ©NTPL/John Hammond

Morris & Co products can be bought at the Wightwick shop. Opening times for the exhibition can be found on the Wightwick events webpage.

Patterns of beauty at Wightwick

June 21, 2011

A corner of the Great Parlour at Wightwick Manor. ©NTPL/John Hammond

The July 2011 issue of The World of Interiors features an article on Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton, with text by Nicholas Mander and photographs by Christopher Simon Sykes.

Detail of a piece of 'Diagonal Trail' fabric, designed by J.H. Dearle for Morris & Co, in the Oak Room at Wightwick. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

I thought I would use that as a pretext to show some more details of the amazing Arts and Crafts interiors at Wightwick.

Early Moorcroft vase in the Daisy Room at Wightwick. ©NTPL/Paul Raeside

Wightwick was built by Edward Ould for Theodore Mander, a prosperous Victorian paint and varnish manufacturer.

Detail of the 'Acanthus' wallpaper pattern, designed by William Morris in about 1875, in the eponymous Acanthus Bedroom at Wightwick Manor. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

Theodore Mander was religious and public-spirited and was interested in John Ruskin’s ideas about the importance of craftsmanship and the inspiration of the past. His outlook is reflected in the Arts and Crafts-style decoration of the house.

Copy of the 'Kelmscott Chaucer', published by William Morris in 1896, his last major artistic project, at Wightwick Manor. ©NTPL/Paul Raeside

The house was further enriched by Theodore Mander’s eldest son Sir Geoffrey Mander and his wife, Pre-Raphaelite expert Rosalie Glynn Grylls. The Manders presented Wightwick Manor to the National Trust in 1937, when regard for anything Victorian was at a low ebb.

Detail of the 'Wild Tulip' wallpaper by Morris & Co in the Dining Room at Wightwick Manor. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

The Mander family subsequently continued to add choice pieces to the Wightwick collection, joined by several generous donors. In 2007, for instance, an anonymous benefactor gave a copy Morris’s Kelmscott Chaucer.

Standen: The house in its setting

June 13, 2011

The south front of Standen. ©NTPL/Rupert Truman

My previous post about the textiles at Standen gave me the idea to show some images of the architecture of the house, which is equally subtle and textured.

Weatherboarding and hanging tiles on the garden front front of the house. ©NTPL/Rupert Truman

The architect, Philip Webb, loved fine craftsmanship and humble but interesting materials.

The Dining Room windows on the east front, with Webb's favourite round-headed frames. The window sills and the corbel are of Portland stone, the other stonework is local sandstone. ©NTPL/Rupert Truman

At Standen he carefully incorporated some exisiting buildings into the design.

The summer house at the far end of the south front, adjoining the conservatory. ©NTPL/John Miller

He used sandstone quarried from the site and locally made red bricks. Webb also deliberately made use of traditional vernacular materials such as hanging tiles, weatherboarding and render.

Grassy path flanked by cow parsley leading up to the gazebo. ©NTPL/Rupert Truman

He managed to create a house that combined great sophistication with a down-to-earth practicality. You could call it the English equivalent of the Japanese aesthetic ideal of wabi, or humble beauty.

William Morris’s influence at Standen

June 10, 2011

Embroidered cushion, probably worked by Maggie Beale, in the Drawing Room at Standen. ©NTPL/Nadia Mackenzie

I was struck by these images of the beautiful textiles at Standen, West Sussex, with their glowing colours and subtle designs.

The Drawing Room at Standen, with its Morris and Morris-inspired furnishings. ©NTPL/Michael Caldwell

The house was built  by Philip Webb between 1892 and 1894 for the Beale family. The interiors are one of the best surviving ensembles of the designs of William Morris.

Detail of the silk-embroidered wall hanging, based on William Morris's 'Artichoke' design and worked by Margaret Beale and her three eldest daughters in about 1896, in the North Bedroom at Standen. ©NTPL/Nadia Mackenzie

The mistress of the house, Margaret Beale, was an exceptionally fine needlewomen, one of the upper middle and upper class Victorian women who helped to revive embroidery in Britain. Some of the embroidered textiles at Standen were worked by her.

Embroidered tapestry cushion, probably worked by Maggie Beale, in the Drawing Room at Standen. ©NTPL/Nadia Mackenzie

She also passed her skills on to her daughters. Maggie Beale, in particular, created cushion covers, bedspreads and stool-tops after her own designs, but in the Arts and Crafts style, featuring flowers grown in the Standen garden.

The North Bedroom at Standen, with various embroidered textiles worked by Margaret Beale and her daughters. ©NTPL/Nadia Mackenzie

Other embroideries at Standen are based on Morris’s wallpaper designs.

Embroidered tapestry cushion, probably worked by Maggie Beale, in the Drawing Room at Standen. ©NTPL/Nadia Mackenzie

The house and its garden were left to the National Trust by Helen Beale, another of Margaret’s daughters, in 1972.


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