GEORGE WALTON

Son of a painter, Walton initially worked as a bank clerk and attended evening art classes. His brother E.A. Walton was one of the ‘Glasgow Boys’. George Walton & Co, Ecclesiastical and House Decorators, was established in Glasgow in 1888 as a result of a commission to decorate a new smoking room in one of Miss Cranston’s Tea Rooms. Walton showed with the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1890, and in 1892 designed the frames and interior for his friend J.Craig Annan’s second photography exhibition. Annan later bought shares in Walton’s company. In 1896 Walton received a further commission from Miss Cranston, to decorate her Buchanan Street premises. His collaborator was C.R. Mackintosh, for whom Walton made some early pieces of furniture. In 1897 Walton moved to London and, as well as retaining his Glasgow showroom, opened a branch in York. Walton’s decoration of Annan’s home and exhibitions and his subsequent introduction to the Linked Ring – a group of photographers founded to promote photography as art – led to many commissions, including a design for the cover of ‘Practical Photography’. Despite having no formal architectural training he built a number of houses including The Leys, Elstree, in 1901 for J.B.B. Wellington, the manager of Kodak at Harrow; and in 1907 the White House and a houseboat, the Log Cabin, for G. Davidson, the retired managing director of Kodak Great Britain. He was retained by the Kodak Company to decorate showrooms in London, Glasgow, Brussels, Milan and Vienna, and his designs were illustrated by Herman Muthesius in ‘Dekorative Kunst’. Walton designed for James Couper’s range of ‘Clutha’ glass, furniture made by J.S. Henry for Liberty, wallpapers for Jeffrey & Co., textiles for Alexander Morton, and carpets. The later years of his career were spent as architect to the Liquor Control Board.