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Philip Webb: Arts & Crafts Architect and Designer

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Archival black and white photo of Philip Webb's Red House in Kent, England.

Philip Webb's Red House designed for William Morris

Photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Philip Webb is often called the father of the Arts & Crafts movement. Famous for his comfortable, unpretentious country homes, Philip Webb also designed furniture, wallpaper, tapestries, and stained glass.

Born:

January 12, 1831 in Oxford, England

Died:

April 17, 1915 in Worth, Sussex, England

Full Name:

Philip Speakman Webb

Education:

  • Studied at Aynho in Northamptonshire
  • Trained under John Billing, an architect in Reading, Berkshire
  • Became a junior assistant for the office of G.E. Street in London

Important Buildings:

Also Known For:

The Arts & Crafts movement in the United Kingdom had a great influence on American Craftsman architecture as well as furniture makers such as Gustav Stickley in the United States.

Important Styles:

Related People:

About Philip Webb:

As an architect, Philip Webb is best known for his unconventional country houses that were unpretentious and informal. He was a pioneering figure in the English domestic revival movement and is often called the father of the Arts & Crafts movement. Although influenced by medieval styles and the Gothic revival movement championed by John Ruskin, his highly original, yet practical designs incorporated the use of contrasting materials such as white interior walls and bare brickwork.

Philip Webb was a close friend of Pre-Raphaelite designer William Morris. They were among the founders of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Company in 1851, which specialized in stained glass, carving, furniture, wallpaper, carpets, and tapestries. Webb and Morris also founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in 1877. Webb's first commission was the Red House(1859), William Morris's eclectic country house that became a gathering place for the Pre-Raphaelites.

For the company, Webb designed household furnishings and decorative accessories in metal, glass, wood and embroidery. He is particularly famous for his table glassware, stained glass, jewelry and his rustic adaptations of Stuart period furniture.

Webb was the only Pre-Raphaelite to design a church, St. Martin's Church in Brampton (1878). The church includes a set of stained glass windows designed by Edward Burne-Jones and executed in the company's studios.

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