Victorian architect-designer E. W. Godwin (1833-1886), tying himself neither morally nor aesthetically to a single style, approached design with what he called "judicious eclecticism." Seeking to design furniture appropriate to the needs of modern living, he grappled with the problems of affordability, utility, and function and experimented with modular and fitted furniture decades before it became popular in the mid-twentieth century. This book is the first comprehensive study of Godwin's furniture designs. Taking the form of a catalogue raisonne, the book documents and reproduces all known examples of his secular furniture and related furniture designs.Susan Weber Soros traces the development of Godwin's style, examines its sources, and assesses the historical importance of his work. She discusses how Godwin combined antiquarian interests with the study of more recent design traditions from different parts of the world, Including Japan. Godwin worked in six major styles: Gothic revival, Anglo-Japanese, Anglo-Greek, Anglo-Egyptian, Queen Anne or Cottage style, and Old English or Jacobean. Soros also describes his work for leading art manufacturers; the work he exhibited at great international exhibits in Vienna, Philadelphia, and Paris; and his role as designer of choice for such leading artists of his generation as James McNeill Whistler and Oscar Wilde.
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