Architecture within the reach of all

Historian article

By Roisin Inglesby, published 4th December 2020

Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo and the Century Guild

Roisin Inglesby introduces us to the life and work of a lesser known member of the Arts and Crafts movement, Arthur Heygate  Mackmurdo, who helped to change the face of European architecture and interior design.

Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo (1851–1942) may not be a household name, but he is arguably one of the most significant figures in British design history. As a younger contemporary and associate of William Morris (1834–96), Mackmurdo worked within the Arts and Crafts tradition while simultaneously expanding its boundaries to include a more wide-ranging and less prescriptive approach to the place of art and design in everyday life. Through his architectural practice and the Century Guild, an association of designers and craftspeople he established with fellow architect Herbert Percy Horne (1864–1916), Mackmurdo introduced new ideas to the British public in the fields of community-focused architecture, modern interior design and building conservation. The influence of Mackmurdo and The Century Guild Hobby Horse, the journal he and Horne published from 1884, was felt across Europe and can be considered a vital source of inspiration for the Art Nouveau style that flourished around the turn of the twentieth century...

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