Edward William Godwin

Edward William Godwin ( born May 26, 1833 in Bristol, † October 6, 1886 in London ) was an English architect and designer.


Training and Gothic Revival

The father, William Godwin, was a wealthy leather craftsmen in Bristol. After schooling in London Godwin returned to Brisol and trained with William Armstrong. This was the city surveyor, architect and engineer, the latter was his focus. Since there is so little went to architecture here, Godwin formed even in this discipline continued, and so the architecture duties of the office he was transferred at an early age. From dissatisfaction with the lack of recognition for his work, Godwin founded in 1854 his own office. After a slow and not very successful launch in 1861, he won the architectural competition for the Northampton Town Hall. First, Godwin prescribed Neo-Gothic, influenced by his acquaintance with the eclectic architect William Burges and the study of John Ruskin's book Stones of Venice. The designs for the Congleton Town Hall, Dromore Castle, Glenbegh Towers and Castle Ashby are influenced by the Gothic. On November 1, 1859 Godwin Sarah, married the daughter of the Reverend William Clarke Yonge. Even Sarah died in 1865 after a long illness.

The Dandy and James McNeill Whistler

1863 Godwin met the American painter James McNeill Whistler know. At this time, Godwin was already an established architect in Bristol, founding member of the Art Club and a member of many gentlemen's clubs. He was a cultivated big-city dandy.

Ellen Terry and the Japanese style

1868 Godwin began an affair with the actress Ellen Terry ( 1847-1928 ). The couple moved into the Red House in Rural Harpenden and remained there for six years. 1869 her daughter Edith ( 1869-1947 ) was born. Her son Edward (1872-1966), later known as Edward Gordon Craig, was born in 1872. For some time Godwin had dealt with the Japanese art that had become available to the Western world in 1853. Gradually, this preference showed in his designs, which was noticed at first skeptical of the public. So Godwin had had influence in the design of furniture for Dromore Castle, and also for his own furniture by Japanese design features. This mixture of traditional and Japanese style called Anglo - Japanese style. By now Ellen Terry, he also came up with the design for costumes and stage in touch. So Godwin developed modern fashion designs for the London department store Liberty. One of his most famous clients was Oscar Wilde. For James McNeill Whistler Godwin built the controversial White House in Chelsea. Unfortunately, Whistler 1879 was forced for financial reasons, the house, including paintings for sale. The buyer, an art critic, let make changes to the house that were disapproved by Whistler and Godwin. The house was canceled in the 1960s.