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A Fresh Look At The Works of Ernest Gimson

A new book titled Ernest Gimson: Arts and Crafts Designer and Architect written by Annette Carruthers, Mary Greensted and Barley Roscoe is being published by Yale University Press in October 2019.

Ernest Gimson has been described as ‘the greatest of the English artist-craftsmen’ (Pevsner 1960) and was a central figure in the British Arts and Crafts Movement. He died aged 54 on 12 August 1919 so it’s appropriate that this book will appear in his centenary year. Based on extensive new research from original sources, written by experienced authors and illustrated with many unpublished images and superb new photographs by James Brittain, it will fill a major gap in the field of Arts and Crafts studies and is expected to become the standard work on Gimson.

The book is divided into two sections: the first looks in detail at Gimson’s life, the development of his approach to his work, his contacts and his influences. Trained as an architect in his home town of Leicester, Gimson worked in London in the 1880s, joining the circle around William Morris and Philip Webb at the Art Workers’ Guild and in the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. In 1893 he moved with friends and fellow architects, Ernest and Sidney Barnsley, to live and work in a radically different way deep in the Cotswold countryside. There he practised as an architect, made modeled plasterwork and set up workshops for the production of furniture and metalwork, rapidly establishing a reputation for both his distinctive style of design and the superb quality of making by his assistants.

Gimson’s architectural projects, the making of furniture, metalwork and plasterwork, and his designs for the embroideries and bookbindings executed by his female relatives are described and analysed in detail in the second section. The final chapter discusses Gimson’s influence in Britain and overseas and his continuing relevance to debates about the role of craft in the modern world.

Finally a list of Gimson’s major works brings together newly researched and existing information.

We would love to have you join us and share our enthusiasm for this history – and the continuation – of this extraordinary Movement and group of architects, designers, philosophers and urban planners. For more information, visit the official Gimson and the Barnsleys tour page and join us on this wonderful tour