Art Workers Guild

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The Art Workers' Guild is an organisation established in 1884 by a group of British architects associated with the ideas of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. The guild promoted the 'unity of all the arts', denying the distinction between fine and applied art. It opposed the professionalisation of architecture – which was promoted by the Royal Institute of British Architects at this time – in the belief that this would inhibit design.

The founders of the Guild were five young architects from Norman Shaw's office: W.R. Lethaby, Edward Prior, Ernest Newton, Mervyn Macartney and Gerald C. Horsley. Its first master was the sculptor, George Blackall Simonds; its second master was John Dando Sedding. Among its members was Henry Bird.

Much of the impulse that previously had fed into religion was transferred to art, retaining a moral seriousness and sense of mission that has characterised the Guild.

The architects Dunbar Smith and Cecil Brewer had an office in the front of the early Georgian house at 6 Queen Square, Bloomsbury, and when they heard that the freehold was for sale, encouraged the Guild to buy it. The back part of the building was reconstructed as a meeting hall, designed by F. W. Troup and inaugurated on 22 April 1914. It is furnished with rush-seated chairs to a pattern originally made in Herefordshire in the 1880s by Philip Clisset, and afterwards copied by Ernest Gimson and his successors. The names of all members up to the year 2000 are painted on a frieze around the walls of the Hall. The list of names now continues in the front room known as the ‘Master’s Room’.

The Art Workers Guild gave rise to the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society.

The Guild was originally a male only organization, leading May Morris to start the Women’s Guild of Arts in 1907 as an alternative for women. It was not until the 1960s that women were admitted, starting with the wood engraver Joan Hassall who became the first female Master in 1972.

The Guild is today a society of artists, craftsmen and designers with a common interest in the interaction, development and distribution of creative skills. They represent a variety of views on design and stand for authenticity (irrespective of political and stylistic ideology) in a world increasingly uncertain about what is real. Founded originally by the leading lights of the Arts and Crafts movement in the 1890s, many of its current members uphold long-established traditions of workmanship and a desire to contribute to the community. The Guild believes that art, craft and design should be invigorating and positive in outlook, at a time when much art remains alienating and self-indulgent. These principles are manifest in the individual work of the members and are spread through teaching, research, publication and exhibitions.

Past Masters of the Guild[edit]

  • 1884-5 G. Blackall Simonds
  • 1886-7 John D. Sedding
  • 1888-9 Walter Crane
  • 1890 John Brett
  • 1891 Sir W B Richmond
  • 1892 William Morris
  • 1893 J. T. Micklethwaite
  • 1894 Heywood Sumner
  • 1895 Edward Onslow Ford
  • 1896 Sir T. Graham Jackson
  • 1897 Lewis F. Day
  • 1898 Thos. Strling
  • 1899 Sir Mervyn Macartney
  • 1900 Selwyn Image
  • 1901 Sir Frank Short
  • 1902 Sir George Frampton
  • 1903 Charles Harrison Townsend
  • 1904 Sir Emery Walker
  • 1905 Sir Charles Holroyd
  • 1906 Edward S. Prior
  • 1907 William Strang
  • 1908 F.W. Pomeroy
  • 1909 Sir George Clausen
  • 1910 Halsey Ricardo
  • 1911 W.R. Lethaby
  • 1912 C.W. Whall
  • 1913 Edward Warren
  • 1914 Thomas Okey
  • 1915 H.R. Hope-Pinker
  • 1916 Harold Speed
  • 1917 Henry Wilson
  • 1918 Earl Ferrers
  • 1919 Arthur Rackham
  • 1920 R.W.S Weir
  • 1921 R. Anning Bell
  • 1922 Laurence A. Turner
  • 1923 Francis W. Troup
  • 1924 C.F. Annesley Voysey
  • 1925 Gilbert Bayes
  • 1926 John Leighton
  • 1927 Sir Francis Newbolt
  • 1928 F. Ernest Jackson
  • 1929 C.R. Ashbee
  • 1930 H.M. Fletcher
  • 1931 Edmund J. Sullivan[1]
  • 1932 Basil Oliver
  • 1933 Sir Edwin Lutyens
  • 1934 F.L. Griggs
  • 1935 Emest G. Gillick
  • 1936 Harry Morley
  • 1937 F. Marriott
  • 1938 Richard Garbe
  • 1939-40 Hamilton T. Smith
  • 1941 Percy J. Delf Smith
  • 1942 George Parlby
  • 1943 Sir Albert Richardson
  • 1944 W.H. Ansell
  • 1945 James H. Hogan
  • 1946 Cecil Thomas
  • 1947 Stephen J. B. Stanton
  • 1948 Hesketh Hubbard
  • 1949 Darcy Braddell
  • 1950 Leonard Walker
  • 1951 Kenneth Bird
  • 1952 Gerald Cobb
  • 1953 W. Godfrey Allen
  • 1954 William Washington
  • 1955 R.R. Tomlinson
  • 1956 Donald M. McMorran
  • 1957 Brian D.L. Thomas
  • 1958 Laurence Bradshaw
  • 1959 Henry Medd
  • 1960 Stuart Tresilian
  • 1961 Sydney M. Cockerell
  • 1962 Sir Gordon Russell
  • 1963 Milner Grey
  • 1964 Arthur Llewellyn Smith
  • 1965 William J. Wilson
  • 1966 William F. Howard
  • 1967 John Brandon-Jones
  • 1968 Charles Hutton
  • 1969 Frederick Bentham
  • 1970 Bruce Allsopp
  • 1971 Paul Paget
  • 1972 Joan Hassall
  • 1973 David Peace
  • 1974 Rodney Tatchell
  • 1975 Dennis Flanders
  • 1976 Roderick Enthoven
  • 1977 Arthur Bultitude
  • 1978 Sean Crampton
  • 1979 Gordon Taylor
  • 1980 Peter Foster
  • 1981 Philip Bentham
  • 1982 Margaret Maxwell
  • 1983 John R. Briggs
  • 1984 Sir Peter Shepheard
  • 1985 John Skelton
  • 1986 Paddy Curzon-Price
  • 1987 Roderick Gradidge
  • 1988 Carl Dolmetsch
  • 1989 Roderick Ham
  • 1990 John Lawrence
  • 1991 Anthony Ballantine
  • 1992 Kenneth Budd
  • 1993 Mathe Armitage
  • 1994 Rodin Wyatt
  • 1995 Richard Grasby
  • 1996 Glynn Boyd Harte
  • 1997 Josephine Harris
  • 1998 Peyton Skipwith
  • 1999 Ian Archie Beck
  • 2000 Donald Buttress
  • 2001 Zackary Taylor
  • 2002 Edward Greenfield
  • 2003 Christopher Boulter
  • 2004 Sally Pollitzer
  • 2005 Dick Reid
  • 2006 Stephen Gotlieb
  • 2007 Assheton Gorton
  • 2008 Brian Webb
  • 2009 Alison Jensen
  • 2010 Sophie MacCarthy
  • 2011 Sir Edmund Fairfax Lucy
  • 2012 George Hardie
  • 2013 Julian Bicknell
  • 2014 Prue Cooper
  • 2015 Anthony Paine

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bryant, Mark. World War I in Cartoons. London: Grub Street Pub, 2006, page 17, ISBN 190494356X

Further reading[edit]

  • J. L. J. Masse, The Art-Workers Guild 1884-1934 Oxford: Printed for the Art-Workers' Guild at the Shakespeare Head Press, 1935. OCLC 559542296

External links[edit]