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PAST EXHIBITIONS

The Holiness of Beauty:
G F Bodley (1827 - 1907) and his circle

V&A + RIBA ARCHITECTURE GALLERY, V&A
1 November 2007 - 17 February 2008

Photographic portrait of G F Bodley, about 1902. © Private collection

Photographic portrait of G F Bodley, about 1902. © Private collection (click image for larger version)

Marking the 100th anniversary of the death of George Frederick Bodley, the most influential Gothic-revival architect of the late 19th century, this display brings together a selection of the very rare surviving drawings by Bodley and his office.

Drawn from the collections of both the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), with a number of key loans, the display explores Bodley's career from his early powerful, colourful Gothic designs to the spare elegance of his late style, which profoundly shaped the appearance of Anglican churches throughout the world.

His decade-long close collaboration with William Morris, his partnership with architect Thomas Garner and his influence on his pupils including architects C.R. Ashbee and Ninian Comper will be examined through a selection of drawings, few of which have ever been exhibited, supplemented by paintings, textiles, plate and stained glass. 

Interior of Holy Trinity church, Prince Consort Road, 1902-1906 by H C Brewer. © RIBA Drawings & Archives Collections

Interior of Holy Trinity church, Prince Consort Road, 1902-1906 by H C Brewer. © RIBA Drawings & Archives Collections (click image for larger version)

Highlights include an embroidered cope from St Paul's, Knightsbridge, one of the earliest known panels of stained glass by William Morris, and a large group of watercolours of Bodley's buildings by the finest of all Victorian architectural draughtsmen, H.W. Brewer, which are being exhibited in public for the first time since the 19th century.

The display is curated by Michael Hall, author and editor of Apollo magazine, who is completing a monograph on Bodley and Garner, and Fiona Orsini, of the RIBA Drawings and Archives Collection.

The display is supported by Watts of Westminster, the firm of house and church decorators founded by Bodley, Garner and George Gilbert Scott the Younger in 1874 and will include wallpapers and textiles designed by Bodley and made by Watts.