Artist biography

W. R. LETHABY 1857–1931

Architect and writer on archaeology and medieval art. Born 18 January 1857 at Barnstaple, son of a carver and gilder. Studied at the local art school and in architects' offices in Barnstaple and Derby, winning the R.I.B.A.'s Sloane Medallion 1879 and the Pugin Studentship 1881. Worked with Norman Shaw c. 1881–91; a friend of William Morris and Philip Webb. First Principal of the Central School 1896; Professor of Design at the R.C.A. from 1900; Master of the Art Workers' Guild 1911; President of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society 1924. Surveyor of Westminster Abbey 1906–28. The drawings and watercolours he made in his summer holidays were never exhibited in his lifetime. Died in London 17 July 1931. Memorial exhibitions at the Art Workers' Guild 1932 and, of water-colours, at the Tate Gallery 1932 and the R.I.B.A. 1950.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I