Recorded Talks about Architects

Victorian Architectural Dynasties Series

Discover a range of talks on Victorian architects from Pugin to Webb to Bodley as well as access to two talk series.

This series of lectures was given in spring 2021 and looks at Victorian Architectural Dynasties.

All four talks are available for the price of three.

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1. The Caroe Dynasty: A Family and its Home Over Four Generations. A Talk by Oliver Caroe

Oliver Caroe’s talk is shaped around the family house Vann, in Surrey, a Tudor farmhouse adapted into a home by his great-grandfather W. D. Caröe (1857-1938), onwards from 1908, now Grade II* listed. The talk provides a biography of the family and the house and how it shaped four generations of Caroe architects.

Oliver Caroe is Surveyor of the Fabric to St Paul’s Cathedral and director of Caroe Architecture.

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2. The Vaudoyers: French Architectural Dynasty. A Talk by Barry Bergdoll

The Vaudoyer dynasty spans the lifetime of architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts from its creation with the participation of Antoine Laurent Thomas Vaudoyer (1756-1846), to its demise after 1968, during the final years of the career of Jean Laurent Vaudoyer (1902-75).

Barry Bergdoll is a specialist in late 18th and 19th century French and German architecture. He is Professor of Art History at Columbia University and former Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art.

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3. Scale, Inhabitation & Detail: Reflections From a 5th Generation Scott. A Talk by Nick Gilbert Scott

This talk will consider key architectural themes that have occupied the almost two-century long Scott architectural dynasty.

Nick Gilbert Scott is an architect and designer. He set up his own practice in 1977, taught for many years at the Plymouth University School of Architecture, and after obtaining an MA in Dance was Visiting Lecturer at Laban (now Trinity Laban) Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

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4. Gables and Fables: the Buckler Dynasty. A Talk by Joshua Mardell

This talk will tell the story of the Bucklers – John Buckler (1770-1851), John Chessell Buckler (1793-1894) and Charles Alban Buckler (1824-1905) – the nineteenth century’s other Gothic Revival dynasty. They fulfilled a century’s-worth of commissions in the revived styles of English domestic and ecclesiastical architecture. This talk examines their significance as a family of impassioned architects, fleshing out details of nineteenth-century society and culture in reference to their aspirations, successes and failures.

Joshua Mardell wrote his PhD on the Buckler dynasty at ETH Zurich and is currently a Visiting Lecturer in the History of Architecture at the University of York.

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1. An Architect Abroad: Mr Street En Vacances. A Talk by Neil Jackson

This talk will follow G. E. Street’s travels in France, Italy and Spain, and with the help of his sketches and his books and articles, show what he admired about foreign architecture and how he incorporated it into his own work.

Neil Jackson is Professor Emeritus at the University of Liverpool’s School of Architecture & former President of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.

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2. Prince Albert, Architect? A Talk by Michael Hall

Many buildings are said to have been ‘designed’ by Prince Albert, from Osborne House and Whippingham church on the Isle of Wight, to Balmoral Castle and the royal dairy at Frogmore. This talk will ask how much input the Prince had into these buildings and their decoration, and will discuss in particular a much less well-known building that is arguably his masterpiece.

Michael Hall is an art historian & the author of a forthcoming History of the Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore to be published by the Royal Collection in 2024.

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3. E.W. Pugin: A Talk by Rory O’Donnell

Eighteen year old Edward Welby Pugin succeeded to the practice of his father, A.W.N. Pugin in 1852. In the course of a short working life – just twenty-three years – he established himself as one of the best-known architects working for Roman Catholic patrons.

Rory O’Donnell has published extensively on the work of E.W. Pugin and his father.

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4. William Burges: Extraordinary Buildings Immersed in the Middle Ages: A Talk by Matthew Williams

William ‘Billy’ Burges was a genius who created some of the most extraordinary buildings of the nineteenth century; he designed churches, castles, bridges, interiors, furniture, textiles, metalwork and jewellery for his few, equally individual clients.

Matthew Williams is an Art & Architectural Historian, who has lectured & written extensively extensively on Gothic revival architect William Burges, including a Pitkin guide published in 2004.

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5. David Bryce: The 19th Century Edinburgh Architect. A Talk by Neil Jackson

Few nineteenth-century Edinburgh architects demonstrated such a plurality of style, from Scottish Baronial to French Château to Neo-classicism to Baroque, as did David Bryce. And he did Gothic too. His buildings provided security for the wealthy, succour for the poor, knowledge for the young, reassurance for the pious and a sense of ancestry for the lairds.

Neil Jackson is Professor Emeritus at the University of Liverpool’s School of Architecture & former President of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.

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6. Philip Webb at Standen and Red House. A Talk by Tessa Wild

Two famous houses at opposite ends of Philip Webb’s career are now owned by the National Trust: Red House at Bexleyheath, and Standen, near East Grinstead in West Sussex. Their history encompasses not only the development of one of England’s most influential domestic architects but also the story of the Arts and Crafts movement over a generation.

Tessa is an independent curator & Collections Advisor at Houghton Hall, Norfolk. She is currently researching Philip Webb for a forthcoming book on Standen.

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7. Looking at Butterfield. A Talk by Nicholas Olsberg

The talk will concentrate on lesser-known but outstanding examples of Butterfield’s work, including the astonishing Yorkshire churches on the Humberhead Levels and at Dalton.

A former director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, & founding head of Special Collections at the Getty Research Institute, Nicholas Olsberg is the author of The Master Builder: William Butterfield and his Times (Lund Humphries, 2021).

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Individual Talks about Architects

Happy Birthday, George Edmund Street

In this introductory discussion, Peter Howell, co-editor of the late Geoff Brandwood’s forthcoming book on Street, and Neil Jackson, author of several studies of Street’s architecture, presented, in an open discussion before a live audience, an introduction to this great architect’s work.

Whether you know Street’s buildings well, or have only seen the Royal Courts of Justice as the backdrop to some headline feature on the television news, this exchange of ideas will show the extraordinary achievement of one of the nineteenth century’s hardest working architects.

Winner of the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects and Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts, Street died at the early age of 57, leaving behind a vast legacy of work ranging from buildings to books to ornamental metalwork, carving, stained glass and wall painting.

William Morris, Philip Webb and Norman Shaw all passed through his office and he worked frequently with Clayton & Bell (stained glass), Thomas Earp (carving), James Leaver (metalwork) and Antonio Salviati (mosaicwork). In December 1881, Street was buried in the nave of Westminster Abbey, alongside Sir Charles Barry and next to his old employer, Sir George Gilbert Scott, beneath a brass designed by George Frederick Bodley.

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William Morris & G.F. Bodley: A Creative Relationship with an Abrupt End. A Talk by Michael Hall

When William Morris embarked on his short-lived career as an architect in the office of G.E. Street in 1856, he formed a life-long friendship with Street’s assistant Philip Webb. At the same time he encountered Street’s old friend G.F. Bodley. For a decade, from 1861, Bodley was a leading patron of the newly-founded Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. Michael Hall discusses the results of this fruitful collaboration and explains why it came to an abrupt end in the early 1870s.

Michael Hall is an art historian & the author of the award-winning book George Frederick Bodley and the Later Gothic Revival in Britain and America (2014).

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A.W.N. Pugin and the Country House. A Talk by Rosemary Hill

Pugin never built a country house, but he worked on and off throughout his career on the Staffordshire estate of his patron, the Earl of Shrewsbury, at Alton Towers and Alton Castle. Pugin and Shrewsbury shared a belief in the social and spiritual purpose of architecture, but were often at odds about how best to realise it. By considering both men in their time and in their relationship to one another and to architecture, it is possible to see how their debates have left their mark, not only in some of the country houses of Britain and Ireland, but in many Victorian villas, and not least, in the Palace of Westminster.

Rosemary Hill is a trustee of the The Victorian Society & a Quondam Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. She is the author of God’s Architect, a multi-award winning biography of Augustus Pugin.

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The Architecture of Sir Ernest George: The Larger Country Houses. A Talk by Hilary Grainger

Sir Ernest George (1839-1922) was one of the most successful and prolific of late Victorian architects. George’s work, in partnership with Thomas Vaughan (1836-75), Harold Ainsworth Peto (1854-1933) and Alfred Bowman Yeates (1867-1914), encompassed country houses, town houses, six churches and some significant public works, including the Royal Academy of Music and Golders Green Crematorium.

Professor Hilary Grainger, OBE, is Professor Emerita in Architectural History at University of the Arts, London, and Honorary Professor at Durham University. She is the leading authority on the architecture of Sir Ernest George. She is currently Chair of the The Victorian Society.

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The David Parr House – An Extraordinary Cambridge Home. A Talk by Tasmin Wimhurst

Decorated in the late Victorian era this house lay undiscovered until a few years ago, when its extraordinary story began to be uncovered. David Parr was a ‘decorator artist’, who worked for some of the best known Victorian designers of the day, such as William Morris and George Bodley. He decorated churches and palaces for those who could afford such decoration, but in his spare time came home and decorated his humble terrace house in the same style.

Tamsin Wimhurst is a Trustee and founder of the David Parr House Charity which was set up in 2014 in order to conserve it and open up the house to the public.

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William Leiper’s Distinctive Eclecticism: A Talk By Simon Green

William Leiper 1839–1916 had a successful career with a wealth of commissions and contemporary praise. He did not have a singular distinctive style but worked in a variety of styles, and was happy to revisit and repeat designs. This paper seeks to celebrate the diversity of his achievement.

Simon Green is an architectural historian in the building survey team at Historic Environment Scotland.

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John Francis Bentley: Architect of Westminster Cathedral. A Talk by Peter Howell

Bentley is best known for Westminster Cathedral, built in a style of which he had no previous experience, but universally admired. Most of his other work is Gothic, though he could work sympathetically in a classical style. He only built five new churches, one of them Anglican, but he made additions to many others.

Peter Howell is an expert on 19th-century Roman Catholic church architecture, and in particular, John Francis Bentley.

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Refashioning Gothic: The Architecture of Temple Moore. A Talk By Geoff Brandwood

Moore was from a younger generation and carried the Gothic torch into the second decade of the twentieth century until his death in 1920. He was part of an architectural world that reacted against the highly ornate, highly coloured fashions of the mid-Victorian years. After pupilage under the great G.G. Scott junior, Moore’s practice took off in the 1890s, patronised by England’s most liberal church-builder, Yorkshire’s Sir Tatton Sykes.

A former chair of the The Victorian Society, the late Dr Geoff Brandwood was the leading expert on Temple Moore.

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W.H Crossland. A Talk By Sheila Binns

William Henry Crossland has remained a shadowy figure. He had a remarkable versatility in adapting historical styles and yet, despite most of his buildings surviving to the present day, he is little known.

Sheila Binns is the author of W. H. Crossland, An Architectural Biography, being the first in-depth biography of one of the unsung greats of Victorian architecture.

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An American Trilogy: Richardson, Sullivan, Wright. A Talk by Neil Jackson

Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886), Louis Henry Sullivan (1856-1924) and Frank Lloyd Wight (1867- 1959) form a triumvirate of American architects whose work can be best referred to as Organic Architecture.

Neil Jackson is Professor Emeritus at the University of Liverpool’s School of Architecture & former President of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain

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