Monday, May 13, 2013

Modern Print Monday: Lindsay Butterfield

Lindsay Phillip Butterfield, 1903

Lindsay P. Butterfield (1869-1948) was an unofficial heir to the Morris tradition. He began designing in the 1890s, incorporating Morris's floral observations, the pattern layering, outlining and emphasis on stems and leaves rather than flowers. He was a contemporary of C.F.A. Voysey and was influenced by Voysey's simplifications to arts and crafts patterning.

Morris print

Butterfield took Arts & Crafts ideas into Art Nouveau---the repeat was more mannered, more geometric, the colors in a minor key. He was a free-lance designer, working for several textile and wallpaper manufacturers in England.

Lesley Jackson in Twentieth Century Pattern Design describes his patterns:
"There was a refreshing naturalness and lack of pretension to Butterfield's designs, and the effect were never forced." Linda Parry in Textiles of the Arts and Crafts Movement calls him "one of the most important and successful designers of the period."

Biographical details about Butterfield are meager but he came from a creative family. His father's brother was William Butterfield (1814-1900), a successful London architect who designed over a hundred churches in the high church, Gothic Revival style. Lindsay apprenticed with a cousin named Philip Johnstone, also an architect but one who left few records. His godfather was another architect, John Belcher (1841-1913). 

Lindsay specialized in pattern at the National Art Training School at Kensington, which evolved into the Victorian & Albert Museum. The school offered training "in the practice of art and in the knowledge of its scientific principles, with a view to qualifying [students] as teachers of schools of art competent to develop the application of art to the common uses of life, and to the requirements of trade and manufactures." 

Read more here:

Meg Andrews has a piece of Butterfield print:

The Victoria & Albert Museum has the best collection of Butterfield designs, some donated by the artist himself.
Do a search for him in the collections:

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