History of Wylie and Lochhead

Wylie & Lochhead: A Legacy in Design and Craftsmanship

Wylie & Lochhead, initially known for their coffin manufacturing during the 1832 cholera epidemic, evolved into a renowned firm of coachbuilders and cabinetmakers. They gained significant recognition in the 1870s, notably as makers to Queen Victoria and furnishers of the royal suite at the 1888 Glasgow Exhibition.

Influential Designers from the Glasgow School

The firm's reputation was bolstered by the contributions of three influential designers from the Glasgow School: George Logan (1866-1939), John Ednie (1876-1934), and Ernest A. Taylor (1874-1951). Their individual craftsmanship within Wylie & Lochhead meant that few pieces could be attributed solely to one designer.

Showcasing Glasgow Style at the International Exhibition

The 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition was a significant milestone, with each designer showcasing individual rooms, thus introducing the Glasgow style to a wider audience, including London. The firm's association with the Glasgow School brought a unique commercial motivation and visual awareness, enhanced by the skilled teachers and craftsmen of the region.

George Logan: The Artistic Cabinetmaker

Joining Wylie & Lochhead in 1882, Logan worked until his retirement in 1937. Known for his watercolour artistry and musical talent, Logan's designs often prioritized atmosphere over absolute comfort, reflecting his poetic approach to furniture making.

John Ednie: The Conventional Visionary

Ednie's conventional approach was evident in his designs. After joining Wylie & Lochhead in 1900, he ventured into freelance work in 1906, designing for various clients while maintaining ties with Wylie & Lochhead. His notable works include interiors in Edinburgh and Glasgow, tailored for middle-class homes.

Ernest A. Taylor: The Multifaceted Designer

Taylor's journey began in a Clyde shipyard, leading him to the Glasgow School of Art and eventually to Wylie & Lochhead as Chief Designer. His designs combined English and Scottish elements, as seen in the 1902 Turin Exhibition. In 1906, he shifted to Manchester, where he continued his creative endeavors alongside his wife, Jessie M. King. Post-1911, Taylor's focus shifted more towards painting and teaching.

Researched and written by Tony Geering & Kristy Campbell.

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