George Montague Ellwood Biography

George Montague Ellwood: An Influential Artist, Designer, and Interior Decorator

George Montague Ellwood, an artist, designer, and interior decorator, was born in 1875. He was educated at Holloway Art School and later studied in Paris, Berlin, Dresden, Vienna, and at Camden School of Art from 1916 to 1924. In 1897, he won the gold medal for his furniture designs at the National Competition in South Kensington. He was one of the founding members of the 'Guild of Art Craftsmen,' a collective of talented artists and craftsmen formed just before the turn of the 1900s, including Onslow Whiting (metal and repousse work), J. Osmond (a carver), and Richard Garbe (sculptor), based in Camden Square, London.

Ellwood's Career Highlights and Contributions

Ellwood's most significant work spanned from 1900 to around 1905/6 when he served as the head designer for J.S. Henry of Old Street, London. His designs were known for their artistic architectural style and attention to line and detail. Ellwood's approach to furniture design, influenced by Edward William Godwin, involved thinning pieces without compromising their strength, using architectural and decorative lines. He worked alongside other notable designers like C.F.A. Voysey, W.J. Neatby, G. Walton, W.A.S. Benson, and E.G. Punnett, supplying designs for J.S. Henry. The furniture produced by J.S. Henry featured materials such as oak, walnut, green stained sycamore, and mahogany, often inlaid with fruitwoods, pewter, and copper.

Exhibitions, Later Career, and Legacy

Ellwood's designs for J.S. Henry were exhibited at the 1900 Paris Exhibition, where he won a silver medal. He exhibited at various venues between 1899 and 1915, including four times at the Royal Academy. He also worked for Bath Cabinetmakers and the Bristol-based firm of Trapnell and Gane. Later, trading as Ellwood and Sledmere, he designed posters for the London Underground Group, now displayed at The Transport Museum. He became the editor of the Drawing and Design Journal and authored several books on drawing, design, and advertising. George Montague Ellwood passed away in 1955.

Researched and written by Tony Geering

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