Annual lecture, 2022

Applications are now invited for the Society's 11th Annual Lecture at Cowcross Street in London on Friday 11th November 2022, starting at 6pm. We are also hoping to make the lecture available online at the same time via Zoom. Non-members are welcome.

Our speaker will be Max Donnelly. The title of his talk is Furnishing the Voysey interior.

Voysey's ability to create a Gesamtkunstwerk ('total work of art') places him firmly in the architect-designer tradition, in which architects sought to unify interiors by designing furniture, fittings, metalwork and upholstery down to the last detail. In Das englische Haus (1904-5) the German architect Hermann Muthesius described Voysey's furniture as being 'above all ... designed as elements in the concept of the interior', asserting that 'All the modern interior designers go their own way, each has an individual style which makes it impossible to confuse his furniture with that of any other artist'. Drawing on material from the Victoria and Albert Museum, and other public and private collections, Max Donnelly will consider the qualities that constituted Voysey's 'individual style' and how these contributed to his 'concept of the interior'. He will also compare Voysey's furniture and interiors with those of his contemporaries, including Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott, Charles Robert Ashbee, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and George Walton.

Max Donnelly is Curator of Furniture and Woodwork 1800-1915 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, where he has curated several displays. V&A publications include a chapter on furniture in C.F.A. Voysey: Arts and Crafts designer (2016) and the book Christopher Dresser: design pioneer (2021). His co-edited monograph, Daniel Cottier: designer, decorator, dealer (2021) was published by the Paul Mellon Centre and received the 2021 Book of the Year award from the Metropolitan Chapter of the Victorian Society in America. Max writes for journals including The Burlington magazine, and has lectured in the UK, Europe, North America and China. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a Trustee of the Decorative Arts Society and the Emery Walker Trust.

The Society will follow government guidelines in respect of the coronavirus pandemic. Events may be postponed or cancelled accordingly.


Attendance either in person or via Zoom will be free of charge to members, including (for those attending in person) a glass of wine or soft drink and nibbles.

We are happy to accept non-members at this event, for whom the charge will be £5 per head.

Joining instructions

The event will take place in The Gallery at 77 Cowcross Street, Clerkenwell, in the London Borough of Islington.

The Gallery was created from the basement of a Victorian warehouse which was originally owned by Thomas Cook & Sons and is now the home of Alan Baxter & Associates LLP.

The postcode is EC1M 6EL.  The nearest London Underground station is Farringdon (on the Elizabeth, Circle, Metropolitan, and Hammersmith & City lines). Farringdon is also a station on the National Rail network. Location map

At the street entrance to The Gallery, pass under the arch and walk to the end of the courtyard, passing the glass-fronted reception of Alan Baxter & Associates. At the far end of the courtyard, turn right down the steps.

Instructions for gaining online access via Zoom, if it proves possible, will be issued to participants nearer the day.

How to apply

Please complete our online application form.

Page last amended 16th June 2022