Biography

Charles Francis Annesley Voysey was born at Hessle, near Hull in-Yorkshire, the son of a schoolmaster who become Vicar of Healaugh; who was tried as a heretic for denying the doctrine of everlasting hell and deprived of his living. Voysey was educated by his father, who was a most important influence on his life, then briefly at Dulwich College. In 1874 Voysey was articled to J. P. Seddon; he remained in the office first as a pupil and then as assistant until 1879. After a short time in the office of Saxon Snell, he accepted an offer to join the stuff of George Devey as assistant.

In 1882 he set up his own practice in Westminster carrying out surveys and alterotions. In the following years he concentrated mainly on decorative work and was a founder member of the Art Workers' Guild in 1884. From 1883 he concentrated on designs for fabrics and wallpapers until his first architectural commission, a house for M. H. Lakin at Bishops' Itchington in 1888, led to further offers of architectural work The characteristics of his earlier style, inherited from Devey and Norman Shaw, soon gave way to the more uncompromising manner for which he is better known.

In 1900 he completed "The Orchard," his own house at Chorley Wood, Hertfordshire, for which he designed most of the fumiture, and which was to be the most characteristic expression of his artistic personality. In 1914 with the outbreak of war his architectural practice virtually ceased, but in the 1920s he again took up decorutive designing and a retrospective exhibition of his work held in 1931 at the Batsford Galleries inspired Pevsner's eulogistic assessment of his contribution to the establishment of a recognisuble modern idiom in his Pioneers of the Modern Movement (pp. 141ff), which appeared in 1936. — Architect-Designers from Pugin to Mackintosh

Architecture

Decorative Arts and Design

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Related Material

References

Architect-Designers from Pugin to Mackintosh. Exhibition catalogue. London: The Fine Art Society with Haslam & Whiteway Ltd., 1981. P. 32.

Baillie-Scott, M. H. “On the Characteristics of Mr. C. F. A. Voysey's Architecture.” The Studio 42 (October 1907): 19-24. Internet Archive digitized from a copy in the University of Toronto Library. [full text in the Victorian Web.]

Brandon-Jones, John, et al. C.F.A. Voysey: Architect and Designer, 1857-1941. Bradford, Yorkshire: Lund Humphries, 1978.

“[E. J. Horniman's ‘Garden Corner’ designed by C. F. A. Voysey.]” The Studio 42 (October 1907): 24-25. Internet Archive digitized from a copy in the University of Toronto Library. [full text in the Victorian Web.]

Gebhard, David. Charles F.A. Voysey, Architect. Los Angeles: Hennessey & Ingals, 1975.

"Townsend, Horace. "Notes on Country and Suburban Houses designed by by C. F. A. Voysey." The Studio 16 (1898): 157-64. Illustrated on p. 162.


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Last modified 22 May 2013