AUGUSTUS WELBY NORTHMORE PUGIN

Trained as a draughtsman with his father’s pupils, Pugin embarked on a design career as early as fifteen years of age, with Gothic furniture to be made by Morel and Seddon for Windsor Castle and metalwork for the Royal goldsmiths Rundell, Bridge & Co. His numerous publications were highly influential; his Reformed Gothic ecclesiastical and domestic buildings set the pattern for the Gothic Revival in England for two decades; his work on the interior of the New Palace of Westminster initiated many patterns and techniques that found their way into the commercial repertory of domestic design. His early stained glass was made by Wailes but from 1845 he used Hardman & Co., who were already making his designs for metalwork, silver and embroideries. Pugin worked with his manufacturers, encouraging the introduction of new products and techniques. His closest allies, Hardman, Crace, Myers and Minton, began to plan their contribution to the Great Exhibition in March 1850. A number of their exhibits for the resulting Medieval Court were chosen by the purchasing committee for the new South Kensington Museum, on which Pugin sat with Henry Cole, and Richard Redgrave. His crowded career came to an end with his mental collapse and he died insane aged only forty.