23 October 2019
Louise Campbell’s Studio Lives traces the evolution of the artist’s studio from the Victorian style of G.F. Watts through the Arts and Crafts environments of Henry Payne, Roger Fry and Augustus John to modernist collaborations for the likes of William Orpen, the Nicholsons and Barbara Hepworth. Examining the studios and studio-houses used by British artists between 1900 and 1940, this fascinating book reveals the ways in which artists used architecture – occupying and adapting Victorian studios and commissioning new ones. In doing so, Studio Lives shows them coming to terms with the past, and inventing different modes of being modern, collaborating with architects and influencing the modernist style. The book is beautifully illustrated with a superb range of archival drawings and photographs, along with contemporary photographs in colour.
In its scrutiny of the physical surroundings of artistic life during this period, the book sheds insight into how the studio environment articulated personal values, artistic affinities and professional aspirations. Not only does it consider the studio in terms of architectural design, but also in the light of the artist’s work and life in the studio, and the market for contemporary art. By showing how artists navigated the volatile market for contemporary art during a troubled time, the book provides a new perspective on British art. In revealing the artists to be active collaborators, Louise Campbell contradicts the perception that modernist architects imposed their designs on their clients and shows how artists influenced the modernist style.
Louise Campbell is Emeritus Professor in Art History at the University of Warwick where she lectured from 1977 until her retirement in 2014. She is a specialist in late 19th- and 20th-century architecture, has edited books on Basil Spence and on Twentieth Century Architecture and has written books on Coventry Cathedral.