• MEETING - Wednesday 18 March 2009
    Dr Scott Anderson M.A., Ph.D., FSA (Scotland) :    WILLIAM J NEATBY The Master of Harrods' Meat Hall

    The ceiling of Harrods' Food Hall

    Trained in an architect's office in Barnsley, Neatby was a versatile exponent of the Arts and Crafts movement, adept at designing ceramic tiles, stained glass, metalwork and furniture, and able to turn his hand to woodcarving, enamelling, painting murals or working in gesso.

    He first came into prominence in 1901 as a result of Edward Everard of Everard's Printing Works in Bristol discussing with Doultons his plan to put into effect Henry Williams' design for an astonishing Art Nouveau building. The fa├žade is decorated in tiles of Neatby's design celebrating the history of printing, with portraits of Gutenberg with his press, and William Morris with his alphabet design.

    See illustration of facade below right and a pamphlet A Bristol Printing House published by the William Morris Society.

    At the time Neatby was in charge of Doulton's department of architectural ceramics. He was responsible for the development of polychrome tiles which could resist weathering without discolouring for architectural use, first in Bristol, and also in the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

    Neatby designed the tile-clad exterior of the Fox and Anchor public house, Farringdon, London (1898), and the tiling of the Royal Arcade, Norwich (1899), but he is most famously known for the meat hall at Harrods department store, Knightbridge, London (1903) (above).

    Dr Anderson is a WEA lecturer and lectures to degree course level at Leicester, Warwickshire, Nottingham, Birmingham and Cambridge Universities. Currently a senior lecturer at Southampton University, Dr Anderson is course leader for BA (Hons) Art, Design and Business
    Other NADFAS lectures which he offers include:
    Life in the Victorian / Edwardian Country House
    Art in the Service of Advertising / Masters of Cameo Glass
    Japanese Print Art and its influence on Western Art
    Burmantoff's Victorian Art Pottery (Leeds)
    Pottery and the English Aesthetic Movement
    Art Nouveau / The Age of Hogarth / Oriental Ceramics and the West

    Everard's Printing Works, Bristol