The following lectures were presented during 2018
The following visits were made during 2018
The Arts and Crafts Movement was as much to do with lifestyle as it was architectural style. But Arts and Crafts designers found it hard to realise their high ideals. William Morris gave it up because, as he told Philip Webb, he could only achieve it at second hand – through the sophisticated procurement system of Victorian contracting. The Wandering Architects succeeded where Morris failed, training as craftsmen as well as architects. Their involvement on site limited their output, so the work of Alfred Powell, Randall Wells and Detmar Blow is less well known than other famous names less representative of the true spirit of the Arts and Crafts movement.
There were others too and Michael Drury explores their lives and their buildings in his recently revised book Wandering Architects. A practicing architect, based in Salisbury and specialising in historic building work, Michael was Cathedral Architect at Salisbury Cathedral for over 20 years. He completed the Anglican Cathedral in Portsmouth in 1991 and looks after John Bentley’s Westminster Cathedral and other historic buildings.
Ernst Ludwig, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine (1868-1937), ‘the most artistically gifted of the German monarchs’, embraced the Arts and Crafts in order to achieve cultural and economic reform. He hoped the seven artists and designers he summoned to create the Darmstädter Kunstlerkolonie, including Joseph Olbrich and Peter Behrens, would revive the fortunes of local industries. He also recognised the potential of an alliance of the Arts and Crafts to forge a distinct identity for his principality: he wanted Hesse-Darmstadt to be a beacon of Modernity. By supporting the leading German/ Austrian architects and designers, Ernst Ludwig ensured Jugendstil developed into a pan-German phenomenon.
Anne Anderson is currently Associate Professor at Exeter University, a tutor at the V&A and NADFAS lecturer. Her specialist knowledge is the Aesthetic Movement, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and Modernism. Previously, she taught on the Fine Arts Valuation degree at Southampton Solent University.
Between Wood’s first appearance in the British architectural press in 1888 and the creation of his final British building Royd House, Hale in 1914-16, he blazed an extraordinarily progressive trail through the age of the Arts & Crafts Movement. Humble beginnings, based in Middleton and Oldham, evolved to the establishment of a practice in Manchester by the early 1890s. Wood formed the Northern Art Workers Guild in 1896 alongside fellow Middletonians FW Jackson and James Smithies. From 1905 onwards, he was in a fascinating ‘partnership in style’ with fellow Lancastrian architect J.Henry Sellers. In his wake, Wood left well-published experimental works that should be ranked amongst those of the time of international significance.
Nick Baker, Archivist and Curator with the Edgar Wood Society, studied History / History of Art at the University of Nottingham, and started in the Museums sector with Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery in 2012. At the same time, having built up a considerable archive relating to Edgar Wood’s work, he based his MA thesis on the ‘museological’ potential of Arts and Crafts buildings and townscapes – most specifically in Middleton. Beyond local concerns, Nick is a passionate advocate for improved promotion of Arts and Crafts Heritage on a national level.
Dr Marianne Tidcombe
Annie Cobden-Sanderson was the daughter of Victorian statesman Richard Cobden and the wife of T.J. Cobden-Sanderson, co-founder with Emery Walker of the Doves Press and friends with William Morris and Jane Burden. Annie was instrumental in advancing the cause of female suffrage and her imprisonment in 1906 prompted a wave of protest; George Bernard Shaw called her “one of the nicest women in England suffering from the coarsest indignity”. Her diary records her daily existence whilst in Holloway, her discomfort and anxiety, but most of all her absolute conviction and unwillingness to bend. The lecture will expand on the prison diary to mention some of Annie Cobden-Sanderson’s friends and other advocates of women’s suffrage in the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Marianne Tidcombe became a friend of Annie Cobden-Sanderson’s daughter Stella (1886-1979) and her great niece Elizabeth Cobden Boyd, while writing on the life and work of Stella’s father T.J. Cobden-Sanderson. Marianne’s books, The Bookbindings of T.J. Cobden-Sanderson (1984), The Doves Bindery (1991), Women Bookbinders 1880-1920 (1996) and The Doves Press (2001) were published by the British Library. Marianne’s book The Prison Diary of Annie Cobden-Sanderson with a facsimile of the original is published by Libanus Press (December 2017).
For almost 50 years Liberty & Co was the most prestigious company in the design and marketing of Arts and Crafts furniture and decorative art. Its founder, Arthur Lasenby Liberty, learned his trade in Farmers and Rogers Emporium in Regent Street, selling the finest fabrics, ceramics and object d’art. Frequented by Whistler, William Morris, Rossetti and Burne Jones, the store specialised in exotic and luxurious goods, satisfying the ‘rage for Japan’ and the Aesthetic taste. Liberty & Co opened in Regent Street in 1875 and, with the help of designer Leonard Wyburd, became a defining influence in Arts and Crafts style. The presentation will illustrate the evolution of the Liberty style through Oriental to Aesthetic to Arts and Crafts.
Daryl Bennett is a keen collector of Arts and Crafts furniture and has a particular interest in the verification and attribution of antique items. He has studied archives particularly those in the V&A library for some years looking to establish evidence based attribution. He has published books on Shapland and Petter, Newlyn Copper, and Liberty & Co and has developed a website to share information on the history of the movement (www.artscrafts.org.uk). As a sociologist he is interested in how furniture came to be defined as art, and how collecting furniture became a badge of status for the upwardly mobile and middle classes Of Victorian Britain.
For those who appreciate the architectural legacy of Arts and Crafts buildings there can be no complacency about the challenges faced in conserving and maintaining them for the future. The architectural design - often highly innovative; local natural building materials and vernacular detailing; skilled craftsmanship; artistic decoration and commissioned furnishings and artefacts that may be found in churches, domestic dwellings, public and institutional buildings - and not forgetting the gardens of the period - are vulnerable to demolition, division and alteration and lack of knowledge. These buildings may be found throughout our island, with a particularly wealth of examples within Surrey. How do we care for this legacy?
The Society’s Chairman, Dr Nigel Barker-Mills, discusses the difficulties and the opportunities open to conservationists, planners, professionals and the owners of these buildings. An architectural historian, with a background in heritage and conservation for several local authorities and subsequently English Heritage; he retired in 2016 as London Planning Director at Historic England.
Thursday 19th April 2018 10.30am – 2.30pm
The history of Messrs Underwood of Dunsfold, founded in 1825, tells the story of family builders who, responding to particular needs, enjoyed success in the boom years and depressions alike, by the use of skill and craftsmanship.
The firm of W.T. Underwood, revived in Dunsfold the old traditional craftsmanship as opposed to agriculture work. The old industries of ironworking, weaving and glass working were dead and they took the village in a new direction with the Arts and Crafts movement.
In the 1890s, the firm worked with the Arts and Crafts architect Edwin Lutyens on the major commissions of Munstead Wood for Gertrude Jekyll and Orchards. Both houses are Grade I listed buildings of international renown. The latter is described in Pevsner as ‘one of Lutyens’s very best houses’.
The main feature of the village centre is open common, across which the buildings of note are viewed. The walk will follow a circular trail and many of the structures have been built or worked on by the building firm ‘Underwood of Dunsfold’.
We will visit the Church of St Mary and All Saints described by William Morris as ‘the most beautiful country church in all England’. We will meet at the Sun Inn, Dunsfold for coffee prior to the walk and return there for lunch. The walk will be lead by a Society member, Sarah Sullivan who lectured to the Society in September 2017 on the subject of ‘Messrs Underwood of Dunsfold: Lutyens’ favourite Builders’. Sarah works as a historic buildings and conservation specialist.
Wednesday 23rd May 2018
The Arts and Crafts Movement in Surrey is planning to visit two houses built by Edwin Lutyens for the banker, Guillaume Mallet. Le Bois des Moutiers, the house extended by Lutyens at the age of 29, was last visited by the Society in 1999. Built in 1898, it is still lived in by the family who have restored it, following its occupation by the Germans during the war.
‘In this design, whether deriving from Paris or Glasgow, occurs one of the rare instances in his work of the influence of nouveau art modernism’ (Christopher Hussey, The Lutyens Memorial Volumes.)
Lutyens retained the original nineteenth century Normandy villa. His alterations, including a new music room panelled in oak with a minstrel’s gallery, show his remarkable originality. The fabrics and furniture for the house were designed by William Morris and supplied by Liberty. The lovely garden, inspired by Gertrude Jekyll, surrounds the house in its setting on the cliffs above Dieppe. Our visit in May should be at the peak time for the azaleas and rhododendrons for which the garden is renowned.
We will visit Le Bois des Moutiers on the afternoon of 23rd May. We will have a guided tour of the house with the owners. This will be followed by a self-guided tour of the 3 hectare garden and 9 hectare park which slopes down to the sea.
In the morning, we will visit Les Communes, a private house opened to us with the kind permission of the owners. ‘Apparently Sir Edwin had said to Monsieur Mallet ‘I have a dream house in my head’. Monsieur Mallet replied ‘I have the money and the site. Go ahead’ (Charles Lutyens 1998). Les Communes was the outcome; built in 1909.
Situated seven and a half miles from Dieppe, members will need to make their own transport and hotel arrangements. There are three daily ferry departures from Newhaven to Dieppe. If the timings are not suitable, the drive down from Calais is about two and a half hours. We anticipate that many members will make this visit part of a longer trip as there are many interesting places to visit in the area. These include windows by Braque at the church of St Valery at Varengeville-sur-Mer and the chapel of St Dominique at Saint Valery-en-Caux. The gardens at nearby Vasterival, planted in 1957 by Princess Sturdza, contain more than 10,000 species. The Castle Museum in Dieppe has a very large collection of paintings by Walter Sickert.
Tuesday 12th June, 7:30 pm at the Tilford Institute, Tilford Street, Tilford, Surrey, GU10 2BN
Following the AGM proceedings there will be a lecture by Robin Stannard Westbrook, an Arts and Crafts house and garden
An exploration of the Godalming house and formal garden designed as his own family home by architect Hugh Thackeray Turner, member of the Art Workers Guild, Secretary for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and designer of many significant buildings both in Mayfair (with Eustace Balfour) and in Surrey.
Robin Stannard is a heritage and conservation specialist who formerly worked for English Heritage and now works for Adam Architecture in Winchester. He has specialised in the work of Hugh Thackeray Turner and has contributed chapters in the books Seven Church Architects 1830-1930 and The Practice of Architecture, Eight Architects 1830-1930, as well as the Phillips Memorial Park, published by ACMS.
Thursday, 26 July 2018, 10.30am -5.00pm
This event will start at the Church of Jesus Christ & the Wisdom of God in Lower Kingswood, Surrey. Designed in 1891 by Sidney Barnsley (and his only church), it is in a Byzantine style. The beautiful Arts and Crafts interior includes mosaics by Powell of Whitefriars. We will begin with tea or coffee and after a presentation will have a tour of the church.
We will then drive to the nearby Sportsman Pub at Mogador for lunch. Having taken refreshment, we move on to Frank Dickinson’s Little Holland House in Carshalton for a presentation and tour. Dickinson (1874-1961) was a follower of William Morris and John Ruskin and influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement. Dickinson was an artist, designer and craftsman in wood and metal who built the house himself, with his own hands and to his own design in 1902, in pursuance of his philosophy and theories. He created “a house with beautiful things inside, a house solid looking and not showy”. The house has a Grade II listed interior and notable features include the master bedroom with a painted frieze; carved timbers in the living room; decorated fireplace surrounds and original furniture.
We go next to the Honeywood Museum at Carshalton Ponds. Refreshments may be purchased from the Tea Room at 3.45pm. This seventeenth century house was greatly altered and extended between 1884 and 1903 by John Pattinson Kirk. We will be able to visit the Edwardian billiards room, drawing room, bathroom and kitchen. There is a display of Edwardian toys in the Childhood Room. The museum closes at 5pm.
En route home, you may like to end the day with “a touch of Provence”. Between Kingswood church and Little Holland House, you will have passed Mayfield Lavender Farm at the Oaks Park Banstead. It will, (hopefully) be in full bloom. If you wish to stop, the last entry is at 6pm. There is a small entrance fee.
Wednesday 23rd May 2018
Birmingham was a centre for the Arts and Crafts Movement in the late nineteenth century. It drew inspiration from pioneering figures such as William Morris and strength from the city’s small workshops and tradition of jewellery-making and metalwork. Its painters were inspired by the work of Birmingham born, Edward Burne Jones.
Our tour begins in Dodford, Worcestershire, at the Church of Holy Trinity and St Mary. Built in 1907-08, this church is the masterpiece of the Bromsgrove Guild. After lunch, we will continue to Bournville, last visited by the Society in 2005. Bournville was an experiment in industrial village-making by the philanthropic Quaker and chocolate maker, George Cadbury. He had declared at the first Garden City conference, held at Bournville in 1901, that his ‘hobby’ since boyhood had been ‘the idea of getting men onto the land where they could enjoy their gardens’.
We will then drive to near Wightwick, Wolverhampton for our stay at The Mount Hotel. Built in 1870, it was enlarged in 1891 and 1908, in the ‘old English revival style’ for Charles Tertius Mander. It was designed for entertaining on a grand scale. Charles’ cousin, Theodore built the nearby Wightwick Manor which we shall visit on our last morning.
On the second day, we will travel by coach into Birmingham. We will visit St Chad’s Cathedral, a major work by A.W.N. Pugin (1839-41), and a landmark in the Gothic Revival. We go next to the Royal Birmingham School of Artists and look at some artists from the Society’s history. Our tour continues to J.H. Chamberlain’s last and finest work, the Birmingham Municipal School of Art (1883-5). We will spend some time at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The Birmingham School of Art gallery includes work by the tempera painter, Joseph Southall and painter and metalworker, Arthur Gaskin amongst others. The museum’s Pre-Raphaelite collection has over 3,000 paintings, drawings, prints and examples of decorative art and design. A walking tour will include St Philip’s Cathedral which has a stunning set of Burne Jones’ windows.
Our third day will also be by coach to the Jewellery Quarter for a walking tour and visit to the Smith and Pepper factory which traded between 1899 and 1981. Now the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, the factory is a virtual time capsule of jewellery production and techniques. After lunch, our coach will take us to Winterbourne, the home of John Nettleford. The house was designed in 1903 by Joseph Lancaster Ball, one of the leading Birmingham Arts and Crafts architects. It retains its early 20th century high status, suburban “villa” garden.
On our last morning, we will drive the short distance to Wightwick Manor for a private talk on William Morris and Wightwick. We shall view the Malthouse gallery, opened in May 2017, exhibiting 108 pieces by Evelyn and William de Morgan. Our party may enter the house before the public for a self-guided tour. There will also be an exhibition in the house titled ‘Beyond Ophelia – A Celebration of Lizzie Siddal, Artist and Poet’. The gardens were designed by Thomas Mawson.
After lunch at Wightwick, we drive next to the Moor Pool Estate on the outskirts of Birmingham. This was the vision of John Nettlefold (of Winterbourne), Chair of the Housing Committee in Birmingham. The architects Martin & Martin, built around 500 houses over 54 aces between 1907 and 1912. Our tour will look at the Arts and Crafts architecture of this historic Edwardian garden suburb with its green spaces and historic sporting clubs such as bowls and skittles. And then home!
Sunday 9 December 2018 12:30 – 16:30
We return to Woodlands Park Hotel at Cobham following two previous successful Christmas gatherings arranged for our Society. Woodlands Park was designed in 1885 by Rowland Plumbe, RA for Mr. Frederick C. Bryant, who was the son of the founder of the well-known match company, Bryant and May. Plumbe was commissioned “with a free hand, unfettered in the slightest degree by economical considerations” to design a mansion in the Gothic Style. The most modern innovations were incorporated and Woodlands Park became one of the first country houses with electric light. The building is renowned for the grandeur of its oak panelled Grand Hall. The house became a centre for Edwardian Society in Surrey, with regular weekend house parties and lavish dinners hosted by the Bryant family.
At the turn of the century the house changed hands. The last private owners left the house after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 when the house became a luxury hotel. Between the 1940’s and 1981 the house was in public ownership and following extensive alterations, it was re-opened as a hotel in April 1981.
Details of past events
Archive details of past events are available for the following years:
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