Ernest Gimson (1864 – 1919) British architect and designer

Set of eight elm chairs by Ernest Gimson
Set of eight elm chairs by Ernest Gimson

Ernest Grimson (1864 – 1919) was a British architect and designer. He was born in Leicester.

Biography

In 1881, he was an apprentice to an architect in Leicester. On William Morris’s recommendation, he joined the architecture office of J.D. Sedding in 1886. It was here that he met Ernest and Sidney Barnsley. He learned chair turning under Herefordshire craftsman Philip Clisrett and studied plasterwork. In 1895, he established his own workshop in the Cotswolds with Ernest and Sidney Barnsley. 

Oak cot designed by Gimson in the Leicester Museum Collection
Oak cot designed by Gimson in the Leicester Museum Collection

The Daneway Workshops were set up by Gimson and the Barnsley brothers in 1902 at Daneway House, Gloucestershire. In 1901, they were joined by Peter Waals, a Dutch cabinetmaker then living in London. The partnership broke up cl 905, and Gimson continued on his own. Gimson’s furniture ranged from simple, ve~acular rush-seated chairs to elaborate cabinets with rich inlays and veneers. He refused to join the Design and Industries Association.

Recognition

His work was shown at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society events. 

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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