Archive for the ‘Wightwick Manor’ Category

Wightwick welcomes the animals

November 15, 2013
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.

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.

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.

Interiors as works of art

April 11, 2011

Rossetti's bedroom at Cheyne Walk, by Henry Treffry Dunn (1839-1899), at Wightwick Manor. ©NTPL/John Hammond

One of the paintings at Wightwick Manor, in Wolverhampton, has just gone on loan to the exhibition The Cult of Beauty at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It is a depiction by Henry Treffrey Dunn of the bedroom of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, painted as if seen in a convex mirror.

Dunn’s painting has been used to recreate the bedroom in the V&A exhibtion. Rossetti was one of the artists who played a major role in the Aesthetic Movement. In his house on Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, he deliberately blurred the boundaries between art and life.

The fireplace in the Oak Room at Wightwick. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

Wightwick Manor still contains original interiors that were heavily influenced by the Aesthetic Movement. The rooms have the same mixture of antique furniture, metalwork and ceramics that Rossetti helped to make fashionable.

Head of a young woman, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882). ©NTPL/John Hammond

There is also a collection of pre-Raphaelite art at Wightwick, including works by Rossetti himself.

The Hall Alcove at Wightwick. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

Many of the textiles in the house are by Morris & Co, similar examples of which are also shown at the V&A.

©NTPL/Paul Raeside

Wightwick was built by the Victorian industrialist Theodore Mander and was given to the National Trust by his son Sir Geoffrey Mander in 1937.

The Dunn painting is illustrated in an article by the curator of the V&A exhibition, Stephen Calloway, in the May 2011 edition of The World of Interiors. The Cult of Beauty exhibition also features in the March/April 2011 edition of Selvedge.

From tomorrow I shall be on holiday for a week.

Portraits from the age of gaslight

April 1, 2011

Jane Elizabeth ('Jeanie') Hughes, Mrs Nassau Senior, by George Frederic Watts, 1857-8, at Wightwick Manor, West Midlands. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

The National Portrait Gallery has just published a guide to Victorian and Edwardian portraits, in association with the National Trust. Some of the portraits, including those shown here, are owned by the National Trust.

Euphemia Chalmers ('Effie') Gray, Mrs John Ruskin, later Lady Millais ('The Foxglove'), by Sir John Everett Millais, 1853, at Wightwick Manor, West Midlands. ©NTPL/Derrick E. Witty

The guide includes 60 key works, discussing the sitters  and the artists as well as the social and cultural context of these portraits.

William Michael Rossetti by gaslight, by Ford Madox Brown, 1856, at Wightwick Manor, West Midlands. ©NTPL/John Hammond

Wightwick Manor has a collection of Victorian pictures, shown in the Arts and Crafts interior for which they were originally brought together.

The Great Parlour at Wightwick, with the Watts portrait of Mrs Naussau Senior. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

Wightwick was donated to the National Trust by the Mander family in 1937.

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