Ernest Gimson Arts & Crafts Designer and Architect Annette Carruthers, Mary Greensted, Barley Roscoe

Publication date:
08 Oct 2019
Yale University Press
372 pages: 267 x 216mm
320 color + b-w illus.
Sales territories:

An authoritative and insightful study, surveying the life and work of “the greatest of the English artist-craftsmen”

This study of the renowned designer-maker Ernest Gimson (1864–1919) combines biography with analysis of his work as an architect and designer of furniture, metalwork, plaster decoration, embroidery, and more. It also examines Gimson’s significance within the Arts and Crafts Movement, tracing the full arc of his creative career, ideas, and legacy. Gimson worked in London in the 1880s, joining the circle around William Morris at the Art Workers’ Guild and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. He later moved to the Cotswolds, where he opened workshops and established a reputation for distinctive style and superb quality. Gimson’s work influences designers today and speaks directly to ongoing debates about the role of craft in the modern world; this book will be the standard reference for years to come.

Annette Carruthers worked as a curator with the Gimson collections at Leicestershire and Cheltenham Museums. Mary Greensted has been curator and deputy director at Cheltenham Museum. Barley Roscoe is a freelance curator and writer and formerly director of the Holburne Museum and Crafts Study Centre in Bath.

“. . . explores how [Gimson] adapted his observations of nature into buildings and objects. . . . The book is lavishly illustrated with photos of surviving works alongside Mr. Gimson’s sketches.”—Eve Kahn, New York Times

“Excellent...Unearths work by Gimson that is not recorded even in the archives of the SPAB.”—Christopher Howse, Daily Telegraph

“[An] insightful survey of the life and work of Arts-and-Crafts designer Ernest Gimson”—Clive Aslet, Country Life

“In their impeccably researched and engaging new biography, Annette Carruthers, Mary Greensted and Barley Roscoe explore in depth Gimson's place at the heart of the handcraft movement that emerged in Britain thanks to the impetus of William Morris and flourished until the First World War”—Roisin Inglesby, Apollo Magazine

“Outstanding”—Ancient Monuments Society

“Building on its predecessors, Ernest Gimson is now the standard account of his life and achievements, fully worthy of his 2019 centenary.”— Simon Swynfen Jervis, Furniture History Society Newsletter

“The authors build on previous scholarship, draw together threads and expand context with admirable thoroughness, bringing it all beautifully into concert...There is scholarly coverage of every context for Gimson’s development, without losing sight of the man himself.”—Lindsey Shaw-Miller, Art History

“This book really brings Gimson’s work to a whole new audience and gives him the accolade he deserves.”—Lynne Pardoe, Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings Magazine

“The book is tightly organised and edited, extensively annotated and referenced, and wonderfully illustrated with high-quality colour and monochrome plates. It itself is both beautifully crafted and serviceable: a highly readable, scholarly account of its subject’s life and work.”—Nick Knight, Leicestershire Historian

“This comprehensive the product of three authors and it is greatly to their credit that you would not know it from their authoritative and seamless text... As a ‘life and work’ it will not be bettered.”—Julian Holder, Architectural History