ANN: Skill, Style and Innovation: British Furniture Making from the Restoration to the Arts and Crafts Movement (online course, 3 Nov – 1 Dec 2021)

The Furniture History Society, UK, is organising a short course on British furniture makers from 3rd November to 1st December as part of its outreach and educational programme, for BIFMO (British and Irish Furniture Makers Online,

Apply by: 03 Nov 2021

Each week three speakers will consider the history of furniture makers and making in Britain. Beginning with the Baroque period, the course will move chronologically through the centuries to conclude in December with the Arts and Crafts movement. In addition to dealing with the output of specific furniture makers, this course aims to provide an integrated account of the furniture trade in the context of the cultural, technical and industrial developments that occurred in Britain during these three and a half centuries, while also acknowledging other significant factors such as the role of the patron and the involvement of artists and designers.  

The talks bring to life the careers and work of some of the most important makers of their time, including Gerrit Jensen in the late 17th century, Giles Grendey, William Vile, Thomas Chippendale and John Linnell in the 18th, Thomas Hope, J.C. Crace or Charles Robert Ashbee in the 19th as well as less well-known makers; firms of furniture makers, designers and architects.

The course runs from 4 pm – 7.30pm (GMT) every Wednesday as follows: 

Week 1 – 3rd November – British Baroque Furniture (c. 1660 – 1715)

British Baroque Furniture and Furniture Makers 
Dr Wolf Burchard, Associate Curator, Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Baroque Interior: furnishing the great London and country houses 
Amy Lim, Oxford University

The London trade c. 1660- 1720 
Dr John Cross, furniture historian and maker, specialist on the Jamaican furniture trade

Week 2 – 10th November – Early Eighteenth Century & the Furniture Trade (c. 1715 – 1760)

Furniture for the London Merchants 
Adriana Turpin, FHS Project Manager for BIFMO, International Department, IESA

Fantasy and Exuberance: English rococo furniture makers as craftsmen and designers 
Prof. Jeremy Howard, Buckingham University

Eighteenth Century Furniture Techniques 
Norbert Gutowski, independent furniture maker, and restorer, former Subject Leader at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, Sussex

Week 3 – 17th November – Architects, Furniture & Patrons (c. 1760 – 1815)

The Furniture Maker and the Architect in the Palladian and Neoclassical Periods
Dr. Megan Aldrich, Department of Continuing Education, University of Oxford

London furniture makers in the time of Chippendale. 
Lucy Wood, independent furniture historian, formerly curator at the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Liverpool and the Department of Furniture, Textiles, and Fashion, Victoria & Albert Museum.

‘As refined and classical as possible’: George IV and other patrons of British furniture makers in the Regency period 1800-1830 
Rufus Bird, former Surveyor of the Queen’s Works of Art, Royal Collections

Week 4 -24th November – The Development of Furniture Firms, Historicism and Reform (c. 1815– 1860)

Beyond Hope: Architects and Furniture in the Age of Historicism and Reform 
Dr Max Bryant, University of Cambridge

Furniture for the Great Exhibition 1851 
Ann Davies, MA Courtauld Institute of Art

Furniture at the London International Exhibition, 1862 (This presentation will not be recorded) 
Max Donnelly, Curator of Nineteenth-Century Furniture in the Department of Furniture, Textiles, and Fashion, Victoria & Albert Museum.

Week 5 – 1st December  – From Manufacture to the Arts & Crafts (c. 1860 – 1914)

Continuity and change in nineteenth century furniture production.
Prof. Clive Edwards, Emeritus Professor of Design History, Loughborough University

At Home in Antiquity: furniture designed by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Matthew Winterbottom, Curator of Nineteenth Century Decorative Arts, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Arts & Crafts furniture makers and designers 
Annette Carruthers, former curator, decorative arts, Leicester and Cheltenham Museums

Tickets can be purchased for individual weeks or for the entire course at a saving 
To purchase tickets please go to:

This course will be recorded and the link to the recording will be sent to ticketholders after the event. Please note that Max Donnelly on 24th November will not be recorded.

Supported by the Paul Mellon centre and the Foyle Foundation.