Seminar: Manufacture to the Arts & Crafts c. 1860-1914
Join us on Zoom this Wednesday the 1st of December from 4.00pm to 7.30pm (GMT) for the final of our five weekly autumn 2021 online courses. This week three speakers will consider the period, 1860-1914.
Professor Clive Edwards
From Manufacture to the Arts & Crafts (c.1860 – 1914)
Images: Clive Edwards
This talk will discuss developments in the organisation and nature of furniture making and the elaboration of techniques and processes of manufacture. The changes implied in the adoption of powered machinery and innovative techniques will be considered in relation to preparatory work, construction, decoration, and finishing by certain leading manufacturing firms, in comparison to maintaining the continuity of traditional craft making processes. Taken together, these approaches offer a picture of the enduring nature of an industry that reacted to technological change based on need rather than notional ideas of progress.
'At Home in Antiquity': furniture designed by Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema
Image: Armchair designed by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912), and made in London by Johnstone, Norman & Co., 1884-1886 [W.25:1, 2-1980]. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The spectacular suite of Greco-Roman furniture commissioned by railroad and insurance tycoon Henry Gurdon Marquand was commissioned in 1882 for the music room for his New York mansion. The Marquand suite, which comprised two settees, two armchairs (one at the V&A and one at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne), two piano stools and a piano, was made by Johnstone, Norman & Co. and decorated by Sir Edward Poynter, Royal Academician from 1876 & President of the Royal Academy in 1896. The talk will consider other furniture designed by leading Victorian fine artists and the London-based firm that made them.
Arts & Crafts furniture makers and designers
Image: Taken from W. R. Lethaby's 'Cabinet Making' (1892)
Arts & Crafts architects and designers at the turn of the twentieth century worked with cabinet makers and joiners in a variety of ways to produce furniture to suit their own taste and the contemporary market. This talk will sample the range, including the rare designer-makers, the few who set up their own workshops, and those who had their work executed by independent cabinet makers or sold their designs to established firms.
BIFMO is grateful for the support of the Foyle Foundation and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.
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Title illustration of Arts & Crafts oak sideboard with inlay of ebony, sycamore, and bleached mahogany. Designed by W.R. Lethaby. Maker unknown, 1898-99 [CIRC.41:6-1953]. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London