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England / London
23rd Oct / 2024
FHS Annual Lecture 2024

Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE / 6pm for a 6.30pm start

Dr Susan Weber

Philip Speakman Webb, Architect and Designer of the Arts and Crafts Movement

Philip Webb was one of the most original and talented designers of secular furniture in the nineteenth century. He created articles of domestic work from seating furniture to tables, bookcases, and wardrobes as well as pianos, screens, and standing mirrors that lie beyond the normal remit of most Victorian furniture designers. Although his work has been overshadowed by that of his friend and early business partner William Morris, this lecture explores his contributions to the field of furniture through an examination and analysis of his creative efforts. The sources of his work are also surveyed as he journeyed from Gothic revivalist to British vernacular enthusiast to Arts and Crafts practitioner with his own distinctive ‘plain and substantial style’. This talk is a preview of my study of his furniture output as part of the upcoming exhibition and catalogue, Philip Speakman Webb, Architect and Designer of the Arts and Crafts Movement slated for the Bard Graduate Center in 2026.

Dr. Susan Weber is founder and Director of Bard Graduate Center for the Decorative Arts, Design History, and material culture (BGC) in New York where she is the Iris Horowitz Professor in the History of Decorative Arts. Established in 1991, The Graduate Research Institute offers both Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. She holds a PhD from the Royal College of Art, London. She is the author, or editor, or co-editor and contributing author to a range of publications, including E. W. Godwin: Aesthetic Movement and Designer (1999), Thomas Jeckyll: Architect and Designer (2003), The Castellani and Italian Archaelogical Jewelry (2004), James “Athenian” Stuart, 1713-1788: The Rediscovery of Antiquity (2006), The American (2012), William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain (2013), History of Design Decorative Arts and Material Culture, 1400–2000 (2013), John Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London (2017) and Majolica Mania: Transatlantic Pottery in England and the United States, 1850–1915 (2021). She has curated many shows at BGC in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, and the Villa Giula, Rome. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Soane Foundation Honors from Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation, the Philip C. Johnson award of the Society of Architectural Historians, and the College Art Association’s Alfred H. Barr Jr. award. Currently she is working on the Exhibition and catalogue on Philip Speakman Webb (1831-1915), Architect and Designer of the Arts and Crafts Movement scheduled to open at BGC in the fall of 2026.

Admission to the lecture is free for members, but attendance is by ticket only, which must be acquired in advance.
Drinks beforehand kindly sponsored by Bonhams.

Please apply to the Events Secretary by email or post. Numbers are limited to 110.

Dr Susan Weber

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