Philip Webb: The Father of Arts and Crafts Architecture / Edition 1

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This is the definitive book on Philip Webb (1831–1915), a key figure in the Arts and Crafts movement and a leading member of the Pre-Raphaelite circle, who has since emerged as one of the most important architects of the nineteenth century. It provides a comprehensive account of Webb’s design philosophy, his architectural work and his influence, while also telling his fascinating life story.

Combining architectural history and biography, the compelling narrative gives a full picture of the character of this extraordinary man – a man known for his absolute integrity, who shunned publicity but nevertheless attracted clients of high status and came to be one of the most significant architectural innovators of his age. Interspersed with vivid descriptions of Webb’s buildings, it covers his relationships with his clients, contractors and artistic contemporaries. These include his close friends in the Arts and Crafts movement, William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who were also three of his fellow partners in the interior decorating and furnishing business, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co.. As well as covering Webb’s work for the firm, the book includes his involvement with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, which he helped Morris to found, and for which he developed influential methods of repairing buildings unobtrusively.

During the later twentieth century, Webb was cited as a pioneer of Modern Movement architecture. This obscured the extent of his influence on Arts and Crafts architecture, which was acknowledged during his actual lifetime. Aimed at the wider public, as well as the academic world, this is the first publication to include a systematic and detailed analysis of Webb’s philosophy and all his work. It is lavishly illustrated with new photography by Martin Charles, and plans, drawings, and archive photographs, which are brought together for the first time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Superbly designed...Many will find inspiration in this thoughtful and valuable book, and all will profit from it." (The Burlington Magazine, June 2005)

"...a good story, very well told..." (Art Newspaper, July 1st 05)

"...This book takes a detailed look at every aspect of Webb's life and career...a good story, very well told..." (The Art Newspaper, July 05)

"...a beautifully illustrated and clearly argued account of his life and work that should be read by anyone interested in English domestic architecture..." (Country Life, 28th July 05)

" outstanding, beautifully produced account of this pivotal figure of nineteenth-century design" (The Tablet, 3rd Dec 05)

"...the first fully detailed and systematic investigation of Webb's life." (The British Art Journal, Autumn 2005)

"...[Kirk's] solid, scholarly description of one of the most influential careers in British architecture is unlikely ever to be replaced." (Apollo, November 2005)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471987086
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/8/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr Sheila Kirk is a freelance architectural historian. After gaining a first qualification in architecture in 1956, Sheila has been researching Webb’s life and work for twenty-five years, writing and lecturing about it widely. In 1990 she received a doctorate for her thesis on Webb from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, where she later worked for some years as a lecturer, module leader, and tutor in architectural history. She co-organized the ‘Philip Webb in the North’ exhibition in Middlesbrough in 1984 and the international conference on ‘Philip Webb and the Significance of the Arts and Crafts Movement Today’ at the University of York in 1996, and has written entries on Webb for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004), the Macmillan Dictionary of Art (1996), and the on-line Grove Dictionary of Art.

Martin Charles came to architectural photography from film and TV in his 30s. He worked widely for Architectural Review and The Architects' Journal, as well as for individual architects, before moving into the realm of books and the architecture of the past. His photography has been featured in major publications on Voysey and Lutyens and has often appeared in relation to the whole field of the Arts & Crafts.

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Table of Contents


List of Contents  and Illustrations.


Chapter 1. The Early Years.

Chapter 2. Red House.

Chapter 3. Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co.

Chapter 4. The Middle Years.

Chapter 5. The Studio-Houses, and the ‘Queen Anne’ Style.

Chapter 6. Webb’s Approach to Architectural Design, and its Influence.

Chapter 7. The Country Houses.

Chapter 8. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

Chapter 9. Alterations and Enlargements.

Chapter 10. Webb the Socialist.

Chapter 11. The Smaller Houses.

Chapter 12. The Non-Domestic Work.

Chapter 13. Webb and his Clients and Contractors.

Chapter 14. The Last Years.

Key to the plans.

Catalogue of Architectural Works.

Notes and References.





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