Mr ‘Brass’ Benson (Recording)

Mr ‘Brass’ Benson (Recording)

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£5 – £11.03


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Learn about W.A.S. Benson, a key figure in the Arts & Crafts movement who was intrumental in forming the Art Workers' Guild.

About this event

W.A.S. Benson (1854-1924), the son of a JP, was born into a large, middle class family and spent his formative years in Alresford, Hampshire. Benson studied Classics and Philosophy at New College, Oxford then trained as an architect with Basil Champneys, but decided to ‘go into trade’ through the formation of his own business (retailing his own designs) in 1880. With a wide circle of friends in the arts, most notably Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris, Benson was a member from the inception of what later became known as the Arts and Crafts Movement, he was instrumental in the formation of the Art Workers’ Guild and The Combined Arts Exhibition Society (which became the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society). Benson’s output was extremely prolific and varied, spanning lighting, metalware, joinery, wallpapers, fabrics, and architecture. This lecture will explore these different themes and examine both his influence on other designers and plagiarists. This wide-ranging lecture is lavishly illustrated with images, many drawn from the seminal work on Benson: ‘WAS Benson: Arts and Crafts Luminary and Pioneer of Modern Design’, I Hamerton (Ed.), Antique Collectors’ Club, 2005.

Professor Ian Hamerton is an academic with a passion for the Arts and Crafts Movement and he holds the chair in Polymers and Composite Materials in the Bristol Composites Institute (Department of Aerospace Engineering) at the University of Bristol. Ian has delivered many lectures on notable Arts and Crafts architect/designers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to many learned societies. A Voysey scholar and enthusiast, he is the honorary President of the CFA Voysey Society, having previously lived in a Voysey-designed lodge in Surrey. Formerly, he was the Vice Chair and Chair of the Society for the Arts and Crafts Movement in Surrey (ACMS).

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