Saint Martin’s Church was established in 1867 by Mrs Hudson of Brabyns Hall. It was designed by John Dando Sedding and subsequently extended by Henry Wilson. The church contains art works by William Morris, Dante Gabrielle Rosetti, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Maddox Brown and Christopher Whall.
Edgar Wood painted a picture of the art nouveau Lady Chapel which was designed by Henry Wilson. It shares some of the stylisms used by Wood.
Hillcrest and Briarhill, 37-39 Rochdale Road, Middleton were built by Edgar Wood in 1892 as ‘new art’ town houses, next door to Redcroft and Fencegate, 33-35 Rochdale Road, which were a matching pair of ‘country houses’.
After detailed research by the research group of the Edgar Wood Society for Heritage Trust for the North West, Hillcrest and Briarhill have now been listed grade II, despite their poor condition. They have enormous historical importance as possibly the worlds first art nouveau houses. Edgar Wood’s design was published in the UK, USA and Europe in 1893 and it pre-dates by a year what are generally considered to be the ‘world’s first’ art nouveau designs by Belgium’s Victor Horta and Paul Hankar.
George Skipper’s Royal Arcade – This Norwich shopping arcade looks like it should be in Paris! It is one of a small number of English buildings which have something like a continental art nouveau expression.
It would be great to find a new sensitive use that can also conserve and restore this Edgar Wood masterpiece. For example, why not reinstate the lost Edgar Wood chimneys at the ends of the wings (see photo) and undertake historical paint analysis to restore Edgar Wood’s original internal colour scheme? Along with the Middleton and Hale designs, The First Church has the potential to put Manchester on the international art nouveau visitor trail.
Japanese art had enormous influence on art nouveau and the British Museum’s Hokusai – beyond the Great Wave exhibition is literally making waves of enthusiasm this summer. But what if you can’t get down to London? Well did you know that Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery also has the Great Wave as well Hokusai’s ‘Red Fuji’?They are not isolated prints, either, but part of the country’s second largest Japanese print collection which also includes much of 60-Odd Provinces and 53 Stations of the Tokaido Road series by that other great Japanese master, Hiroshige.
Conservation surveyor and Edgar Wood specialist, Rupert Hilton, has made a superb 3D bird’s eye view model of Banney Royd, Edgerton near Huddersfield – Edgar Wood’s largest and most elaborate house. Rupert has studied the building in great detail over several years.
The third art nouveau event to report on this month is at the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony, famous for its wonderful art nouveau buildings. The exhibition mainly concerns art nouveau tiles and the centrepiece is a collection of English tiles, including designs by Wiliam De Morgan and tiles by Pilkington’s Tile & Pottery Co. See…
The annual BANAD festival is all about Brussels’ art nouveau and deco heritage. It is now integrated into the city’s wider tourism drive and the following Guardian article and BANAD website give you a flavour of what has been on offer this year…
Liberty in Italy is an interesting Italian exhibition on the so-called minor artists of art nouveau. In their day, these were prominent practitioners and part of the cultural world that Edgar Wood experienced during his regular trips to Italy and his eventual retirement there. The exhibition has been so popular that the initial closing date of 14th February was extended till 1st April.