Ambrose Heal (1872–1959) was a British furniture designer. He was known for his simple and functional designs that were inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement.
He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, in London. The Slade School of Fine Art is known for its rigorous curriculum and esteemed faculty, making it a highly respected institution in the art world. Graduates from the Slade School have gone on to achieve great success in their artistic careers.
Heal served as an apprentice cabinetmaker at Plucknett, near Warwick. In 1893, he joined the family firm (established in 1810). In 1896, he began to show his furniture designs. He was a fine artisan and began to design furniture in the Arts and Crafts idiom with a predilection for solid oak, sturdy artisanship, and simple, stark lines. He was a member of the Art Workers’ Guild. In 1915, he played a role in the formation of the DIA (Design and Industries Association). From the early 1930s, he adopted the more fashionable Modern approach to furniture, following the style of his designers J.F. Johnson and Arthur Greenwood. C.F.A. Voysey also designed for him.
Heal was committed to good design, particularly through the 1920s and 1930s, and brought modernism to the mass market in Britain. After visiting the 1923 Gothenburg Exhibition, he introduced Swedish glassware to’ Britain and sold Swedish furniture. In the 1950s, the firm employed many young British designers, especially of textiles. In 1983, Heal’s was acquired by the Storehouse Group under Terence Conran, which included Habitat.
In 1933, Ambrose Heal was knighted, and in 1939, he was elected Royal Designer for Industry. These recognitions were a testament to his significant contributions to the field of furniture design and his impact on the British design industry.
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Furniture books – Amazon
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