The following lectures were presented during 2008
The following visits were made during 2008
In this lecture Hilary Underwood will examine how Burne-Jones thought of his paintings as richly crafted decorative objects and at the way that he realised his imaginative world by designing costumes and accessories which bear an increasingly vague connection to historical precedent. This is unusual in the Victorian period, ‘where art is generally characterised by realism and historicism. The lecture explains the relationship between Burne-Jones’ painting and his decorative art and between Burne-Jones and the painting and Arts and Crafts production of his admirers in the Birmingham School.
Hilary Underwood undertook postgraduate research on the art theories of Burne-Jones, Leighton, Watts and Albert Moore at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She has extensive adult education and lecturing experience and currently lectures in the History of Art at the University of Surrey. She is a former Assistant Curator of the Watts Gallery where she acts as curatorial advisor and is preparing an exhibition on Watt’s religious art due to open at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London in December.
The scope of this lecture by Gillian Darley will be the development of model villages around the Arts and Crafts Movement, how early examples fed into the Movement and how later ones continued to borrow from it. Planned villages - the best known being Portmeirion, Port Sunlight, New Lanark and Bournville - diffused the wider principles of the Arts and Crafts in a particularly apt fashion.
Gillian Darley is an architectural writer and biographer of Octavia Hill, John Soane and John Evelyn. She is also a Trustee and former chairman of SPAB and sits on the National Trust Council as the SPAB’s nominee. Her first book, Villages of Vision (1975) was re-issued and revised in 2007 as Villages of Vision: A Study of Strange Utopias, copies of which will be on sale during the evening.
Simon Green will describe how the arrival of the railway transformed the Lake District from a picturesque retreat for literary aesthetes to a glorious scenic playground for the North West of England. The consequences were a burgeoning of hotels at the railhead in Windermere and an explosion of holiday villas for the wealthy middle classes. The railway allowed the gentlemen to commute to their businesses whilst their families enjoyed the scenic rural idyll. Their patronage of important architects to design their retreats and the reaction of these designers to the Lake District is the subject of this lecture.
Simon Green is an architectural historian at The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. His fascination with the Arts and Crafts Movement in the Lake District was fostered by his work for the National Trust as an investigator of their vernacular buildings in the Lake Counties. He is Honorary Secretary of The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain and the Chairman of the Architecture Advisory Panel of the National Trust for Scotland.
Refreshments will be served before the lectures.
Saturday 8 November 2008 10:30am – 4:30pm
Blackheath village has an exceptional heritage of buildings; philanthropic commissions designed by the Arts and Crafts architect Charles Harrison Townsend (1851-1928) and comprising numerous cottages, St Martin’s Church, the Village Hall, the (former) congregational Chapel and a Chapel of Rest at the cemetery. Townsend is best known for his public buildings in London which include the Horniman Museum, Whitechapel Art Gallery and Great Warley Church, Essex. These projects saw him working in a successful collaboration with other artists and craftsmen.
The village has launched a fund-raising campaign for restoration works at the Church where American artist Anna Lea Merritt, whose work may be seen in the Tate Gallery, painted the unique murals between 1893 and 1895. The murals are disintegrating with the walls because of rising damp and leaks from the roof. The Society hopes that this event will provide an insight into the history and architectural significance of Blackheath’s buildings and at the same time generate funds for the appeal.
The programme for the day includes a lecture by Olive Maggs, who is writing a book about Mrs Lee Merritt and a presentation by Sarah Sullivan, who has been researching Charles Harrison Townsend on behalf of our Society. We shall visit the Church and, thanks to the generosity of the owner, view both the interior and exterior of ‘Blatchfield’, a house designed by Townsend and the former home of Sir William Roberts-Austin, the enlightened patron of the Church.
Thursday 2 October 2008 10:30am – 4:30pm
Michael Drakeford, a local Abbotswood resident dismayed at the threat to demolish ‘Woodways’ in Abbotswood, joined the fight (together with ACMS) which led to this building being saved through a listing by English Heritage. It is described as being a fine example of the Arts and Crafts style, with many original features.
Research led to the discovery that the architect Claude Burlingham not only designed almost all the houses in Abbotswood, built between 1912 -1925, but also was Guildford’s most prolific designer between 1912 and 1939 of the most exclusive and architecturally interesting estates. He also helped develop the roads off Trodds Lane in Merrow, Fairway, and Ganghill, designing over 110 houses in these areas and Abbotswood in the Arts and Crafts style.
All these houses are described in the book written by Michael Drakeford and newly published by Phillimores entitled A History of Abbotswood, Guildford’s most unusual estate. The book runs to 324 pages with nearly 400 colour illustrations. The Society is a sponsor of the book and copies will be available for purchase and signing during the day.
The event will include a lecture by Michael Drakeford focusing on the architecture of the buildings and drawing comparisons with better known Arts and Crafts architects and the influences that their work had on Claude Burlingham. Salient discoveries contained within this important new book will be pointed out during an afternoon walk around Abbotswood, led by Michael, of circa 2 hours duration. We shall view the exteriors and some interiors of a few of the houses by kind permission of their owners and have tea at one of the houses.
Imagine that you are one of CFA Voysey’s most indulgent clients, on your way to a site meeting with him at Frinton-on-Sea in Essex. During the course of this talk you will look at the details of the house that he has designed for you and, as you consider the friendship that has developed between you and your architect, you will reflect upon the character and complex motivations that make Voysey one of the most influential Arts and Crafts designers in Britain.
The lecture will be given by Dr Wendy Hitchmough, an art historian specialising in the architecture and design of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and Curator at Charleston, the Bloomsbury artists’ home in Sussex. She is the author of seven books including C.F.A. Voysey (Phaidon, 1995), The Arts and Crafts Home (Pavilion, 2000), and Arts and Crafts Gardens (V&A Publications, 2005).
Society member David Rainger tells the story of the two sisters, Elizabeth and Susan, in a talented family. The story starts in London where they were helped by May Morris and Emery Walker, and moves to Dublin when the sisters built up a remarkable Arts and Crafts enterprise which lasted for over 70 years and included Weaving, Tapestry and Printing.
David Rainger, a retired Telecoms Executive Engineer is now a freelance lecturer who makes stained glass as well as practising bookbinding and book conservation. He has previously lectured to the society on Morris and Co. stained glass and on the life and work of Emery Walker.
C R Ashbee was one of the most interesting and radical figures in the Arts and Crafts movement. In 1888 he set up the Guild of Handicrafts, an Arts and Crafts workshop in the slums of East London. In 1902, he moved the workshops, then employing about forty craftsmen, from East London to Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds, seeking a better and healthier life for his men. This was one of the most remarkable episodes in the history of the Arts and Crafts movement in England, but after five or six years the Guild went into liquidation and most of the craftsmen had to go back to the big cities to find work. In this lecture Alan Crawford will explore both sides of this experiment, the romanticism and the foolishness, the freshness and the discomfort, the light and the dark.
Alan is a freelance writer specialising in the history of architecture and decorative arts in England c. 1900. For the past few years he has been working full-time on the new Court Barn Museum in Chipping Campden, which displays work by Ashbee and his associates and which the Society is planning to visit in September.
Annual General Meeting and lecture
It is hoped that you will be able to attend and contribute to the future plans of the Society. Five Council members retire this year, all of which have indicated their willingness to stand for re-election. The posts of Membership Secretary and Minutes Secretary are vacant and members are invited to contact the Hon. Secretary to discuss what is involved in taking on responsibility for these positions.
Nominations for election should be signed by the proposer, and seconder who should also be members of the Society, and should be signed by the nominee signifying his/her willingness to serve if elected. Nominations should be returned to the Hon. Secretary by Friday 9 May. The Chairman may invite nominations from the floor at the Annual General Meeting in the event of there being insufficient nominations.
following the AGM proceedings, there will be a lecture:
Hugh Thackeray Turner, architect and conservationist
an illustrated lecture by Robin Stannard. Thackeray Turner is best known for the design of his own house and garden at Westbrook, Godalming. Also in Godalming, he collaborated with Gertrude Jekyll and his brother Laurence Turner in the design of the Philips Memorial Cloister. For the Powell family in Guildford, he designed the Wycliffe Building, The Court and Mead Cottage. Thackeray Turner was predominately a London architect, designing many buildings on the Grosvenor Estate and he had an important involvement with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and with the early years of the National Trust. The lecture discusses Thackeray Turner’s life and career and also examines the connection between Arts and Crafts architecture, conservation and philanthropy. Society Member, Robin Stannard is a conservation specialist with the local architectural practice Scott Brownrigg. His research, which he hopes will be eventually published, was carried out whilst undertaking an MSc in the Conservation of the Heritage Environment at Reading University.
Saturday 16 February 2008 11am - 5pm
Members may be aware of uncertainty regarding the future of the William Morris Gallery, with the controversial restructuring of its staffing and changes in opening times. As a result the Society has been keen to organise a visit for members and we are pleased to be combining the visit with the chance to see more of the work of Architect Charles Harrison Townsend designer of the Bishopsgate Institute, and the Horniman Museum and whose church at Great Warley we viewed in summer 2007.
We shall spend the latter part of the morning at the United Free Church, a Grade II listed, magnificent red brick and terracotta church of the Arts and Crafts period, designed by CH Townsend in 1904. The Rev. Kevin Swaine and Archivist, Winifred Ellingham will talk to the group and we shall view archive and exhibition material from the Church’s centenary celebrations. The Church has participated in London open house events.
The Gallery at Walthamstow occupies the former Water House, a substantial Georgian dwelling of about 1750 which was the Morris’s family home from 1848 to 1856. The Gallery’s collections illustrate William Morris’s life, work and influence alongside displays of furniture, textiles, ceramics and glass by Morris’s followers in the Arts and Crafts Movement. The group will have a guided tour of the highlights of the Gallery with an explanation of key objects of interest during the afternoon and there will also be time to explore the Gallery independently.
Saturday 8 March 2008 10am - 5pm
In 1840 the First Earl of Lovelace, son-in-law of Lord Byron, acquired the East Horsley Estate and moved his home from nearby Ockham Park to East Horsley Place. Over the next 40 years he proceeded to embellish the Sir Charles Barry house with fantastic towers, a great hall, cloisters and a chapel to create a Rhenish Gothic folly, which he suitably renamed Horsley Towers. He then transformed the previously nondescript village of East Horsley into a model estate village using the same very idiosyncratic polychrome style.
On his death, Ralph, the Second Earl inherited Ockham Park. Ralph’s wife, Mary, Countess of Lovelace had a deep interest in architecture and studied drawing in the offices of C R Ashbee. She became friendly with Voysey who made alterations to Ockham Park (parts of which were to plans by Hawkesmoor). Sadly, much of the house was destroyed by fire in 1948. Voysey also built Ockham Parish Room and his influence is present in a number of estate houses built by Lady Lovelace in the village which employ “Voysey” door furniture etc. manufactured by Thomas Elsley and Co.
Our study day will be guided by Professor Anne Anderson of Southampton Solent University. In the morning, Society members will have a rare opportunity to visit Horsley Towers (now a conference centre) and to enjoy a walking tour of East Horsley with Peter Hattersley of the Horsley Countryside Preservation Society. After lunch in the Duke of Wellington, also by Barry and modified by Lovelace, we will drive to Ockham where we will visit the church (one of Simon Jenkins’ 1000 best) which contains a memorial casket designed by Voysey and inscribed by Eric Gill. We will then visit the grounds of Ockham Park to view the exterior of the house and the Voysey mausoleum and will also visit some of Lady Lovelace’s cottages in the village. The day will end with tea in the Ockham Parish Room and a final presentation by Professor Anne Anderson.
Wednesday 30 April 2008 10.30am - 5pm
This event has been masterminded by Society member, Dr Desna Greenhow, who has strong family connections with Bushey and suggested that a visit to Bushey Museum would introduce members to the interesting period of the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Bushey had many notable artistic residents. The Museum, which has a strong focus on the visual arts of the home, exists because of the Herkomer School of Art established by Sir Hubert von Herkomer RA (1849-1914) who trained over 500 students during the period 1883 to 1904. Bushey Museum’s collection features work by Herkomer’s students, many of who became well-known artists themselves, such as Lucy Kemp-Welch (1869-1958) the foremost painter of horses of her time, especially of working horses, and Rowland Wheelwright.
Bryen Wood, Managing Director of Bushey Museum will give an introductory talk and our private view of the Museum will include: The Herkomer Room, which includes quite a few Arts and Crafts artefacts from Herkomer’s home “Lululaund”, a newly furbished Lucy Kemp-Welch Gallery and The Frobisher Studio - the last working artists studio which has been reconstructed adjacent to the Museum. The exhibition “Friends' Gifts” a selection of pictures and other works purchased by the Friends of Bushey will be on display during our visit.
During the afternoon, guided by Desna, we will view the remains of “Lululaund”, for which a restoration bid is underway, and visit St Margaret's School, built by Alfred Waterhouse, to view the stained glass window designed by Henry Holiday for the Chapel. By kind permission of the owners, members will have the opportunity to see a Grade II listed house, designed by CFA Voysey. Edith Somers, a prominent member of Bushey’s Arts and Crafts Society, commissioned it in 1904. The tour will end at Reveley Lodge, which contains a collection of Silver Studio wallpaper designs. It was the home of Albert Ranney Chewett a talented Canadian artist who attended the Herkomer Art School from 1900 to 1902.
Wednesday 2 July 2008
Limnerslease, which lies opposite the Watts Gallery in Compton, was designed by Sir Ernest George for George Frederic Watts and his wife Mary Seton Watts and was completed in 1891. The house includes gesso ceilings designed and modelled by Mary who also designed and made the beaten copper fire surround in the sitting room. Limnerslease is now divided, but by kind permission of the owners we will be able to visit the major portion of the house, which is currently being restored and furnished in the Arts and Crafts style. We shall also see Mary Watts’s original kiln, which is in the garden of an adjoining property the owners of which have kindly consented to a viewing.
Sunday 21 to Tuesday 23 September 2008
Following the Society’s successful visit to the southern part of the Cotswolds in 2006, we have been planning a visit to a number of places of Arts and Crafts interest in and around Chipping Campden, We shall focus in particular on the work of CR Ashbee and the Guild of Handicraft with a visit to the Court Barn Museum, newly opened in July 2007 and housing a permanent exhibition, telling the story of craftsmanship and design in the north Cotswolds in the twentieth century. Various elements of the tour are now in place, including an evening lecture on etcher and illustrator FL Griggs, by Jerrold Northrop Moore author of The Architecture of Dreams, a biography of Griggs, and a private viewing of Court Barn with an introductory talk by Alan Crawford. Alan will also lead a walk around Chipping Campden to examine the architectural work of Ashbee, Norman Jewson and Griggs and the Hart silversmithing workshop in the Silk Mill.
We may also visit Broadway to see another new venture, opening this month, The Gordon Russell Heritage Centre, housed in the Grade II-listed workshop used by Russell and his furniture company. Several churches associated with the Cotswold artists of the Arts and Crafts movement will form part of the itinerary and possibly one or two privately owned buildings. The tour promises to provide an insight into the achievements of the gifted designers and craftsmen and women of the Cotswolds and a chance to socialise with fellow members of the Society.
We shall stay for two nights, Sunday 21 and Monday 22 September, at the Three Ways House Hotel in Mickleton, a three-star hotel with award wining restaurant and home to the legendary pudding club. Provisional bookings with the hotel have been made but that rooms for single occupancy are limited. The estimated cost for this event will be £300-350 per person (double/twin) or £340-390 (single) to include the hotel booking of dinner, bed and breakfast, teas/coffees/sandwich lunches, entrance fees, gratuities and lectures. Drinks with dinner will be an additional cost. Currently we anticipate travelling to all venues by car as they are within easy reach of the hotel.
Details of past events
Archive details of past events are available for the following years:
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