A sense of proportion and puritanical love of simplicity: the furniture designs of C.F.A. Voysey

Tony Peart is giving an online lecture to the Furniture History Society (FHS) on Sunday 9th October at 7pm on the furniture designs of C.F.A. Voysey. Further details are below.

The FHS has kindly agreed that Voysey Society members may join this event free of charge. This will be an interesting complement to our own annual lecture, to be given by Max Donnelly on 11th November, entitled Furnishing the Voysey interior.

There is no need to book for the FHS event. The Zoom login details will be emailed to all members a week in advance of the lecture.

C.F.A. Voysey was of the generation that immediately followed A.W.N. Pugin and E.W. Godwin and, like them, saw the architect's role as not to simply design a building but also to design the objects and furnishings that would be found within it, from the paper on the walls to the cutlery on the table. Even before his architectural career was fully established, he was widely celebrated as the leading pattern designer of his generation and would go on to design metalware, lighting, sculpture and ceramics.

Voysey had a long career as a furniture designer, his earliest design dating to the mid-1880s and his last to the mid-1930s, but, as with architecture, it took many years of trial and error for him to 'find his feet'. By 1900 he had matured into a consumate designer of simple, austere oak furniture and was creating the iconic pieces that would influence the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Rennie Mackintosh and which, even today, remain highly valued in design collections worldwide.

Tony Peart is a Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design and Illustration at the University of Cumbria and a Trustee of the Voysey Society. He has researched and written about most aspects of Voysey's decorative design and related nineteenth and early twentieth century decorative design. He is currently preparing a monograph on The Birmingham Guild of Handicraft and is in the early stages of researching British-manufactured anthroposophical furniture.

Voysey furniture


Tony Peart

Page last amended 11th September 2022