Artist: Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo
Born: 12 December 1851
Movement: Art Deco
Died: 18 March 1942
Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo was a progressive architect and designer, who influenced the Arts and Crafts Movement through the Century Guild of Artists which, in partnership with Selwyn Image, he set up in 1882.
Mackmurdo was the son of a wealthy chemical manufacturer. He was educated at Felsted School and trained under the architect Chatfield Clarke. In 1869 he became the assistant to James brooks, a Gothic Revival architect. He visited John Ruskin’s School of Drawing in 1873 and in 1874 accompanied Ruskin to Italy. He remained in Florence to study and despite the influence of Ruskin, he was most impressed with Italian Renaissance architecture.
Mackmurdo opened his own architectural practice in London in 1874. He founded the Century Guild of Artists in 1882, members included Selwyn Image, Clement Heaton and Benjamin Creswick. One of the more successful craft guilds of the time it offered complete furnishing of homes and buildings and the artists were encouraged to participate in both production and design. The guild exhibited a display, a music room, at the Health Exhibition in London in 1884. It incorporated two of Mackmurdo’s favoured motifs, foliage twisted into sinuous curves and thin square columns topped with flat squares
©JG Farmer 2019