UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Charles Robert Ashbee, 1863-1942

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1863
Place of Birth: London
Date of Death: 1942
Place of Death: Sevenoaks

Identity:

Charles Robert Ashbee was an architect, designer and socialist and a leading member of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Life:

Ashbee trained with the architect G. F. Bodley during which time he became involved in Toynbee Hall, a social experiment in poverty-stricken Whitechapel where he taught classes in art and craft. In 1887 Ashbee founded the School of Handicraft and in 1888 the Guild of Handicraft. He also produced designs for the Guild which became celebrated for its decorative pieces, especially jewellery, silver and furniture. Ashbee also had interests in fine art printing and he became a leading member of the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings. He owned No 74 Cheyne Walk, JW's last home in 1902-03.

Bibliography:

Who was Who: A Companion to Who's Who, London, 1920 et seq.; MacCarthy, Fiona, Simple Life: C. R. Ashbee in the Cotswolds, London and California, 1981; Crawford, Alan, C. R. Ashbee: Architect, Designer & Romantic Socialist, New Haven and London, 1986; Who was who: a cumulated index, 1897-1990, London, 1991.