George Montague Ellwood, Artist, Designer and Interior Decorator was born in 1875 and educated at Holloway Art School and later studied in Paris, Berlin, Dresden and Vienna and at Camden School of Art from 1916 to 1924. In 1897 he won the gold medal for his furniture designs at the National Competition, South Kensington. He was one of the founding members of the 'Guild of Art Craftsmen', comprising the likes of Onslow Whiting (metal and repousse' work) J Osmond (a carver), and Richard Garbe (sculptor), a break away group of many talented artists and craftsmen formed just before the turn of the 1900's, working closely together and holding regular exhibitions of their works, situated at Camden Square, London. Some of Ellwood's best work was between 1900-1905/6 when he was the head designer for J S Henry (John Sollie Henry, founded c1880) of Old Street, London. Ellwood was their most prolific designer; he had a very particular artistic architectural style, and an eye for line and fine detail of the highest order, he like Edward William Godwin knew how to thin the piece's and parts which make up furniture yet without compromising it's integral strength by using more architectural yet decorative lines particularly in his use of multiple stretchers that run horizontally and vertically uniting along the lengths creating a superior design and a far stronger chair, sometimes so fine and so avant garde for the time, even in today's world his designs are still thoroughly modern. Along side other designers such as C F A Voysey, W J Neatby, G Walton, W A S Benson, and E G Punnett whom also supplied designs for J S Henry. J S Henry made furniture to their designs in oak, walnut, green stained sycamore and mahogany, often inlaid with fruitwood's, pewter and copper depicting stylistic and organic designs. Ellwood's designs for J S Henry were exhibited at the 1900 Paris Exhibition and won a silver medal, one of two the firm were awarded. He exhibited at a number of venues between 1899 and 1915, including four times at the Royal Academy. He also worked for Bath Cabinetmakers and the Bristol based firm of Trapnell and Gane. He later traded as Ellwood and Sledmere (late with J.S. Henry Ltd) at 53 Mortimer Street, London. and designed posters for the London Underground Group between 1912 and 1914 now displayed at The Transport Museum. He became editor of Drawing and Design Journal and in later years continuing his life's work he wrote several knowledgeable books on drawing and design and also advertising. He died in 1955.
Researched and written by Tony Geering.