Earnest Archibald Taylor (1874–1951)
Born in Greenock, Scotland in 1874, the fifteenth of seventeen children.
Taylor did his training in a Clyde shipyard where he qualified as a draughtsman, in 1893/4, and later enrolled as a student at the Glasgow School of Art. It was here that he met his wife, Jessie M. King, married in 1908. Between 1900-06 he taught furniture design at West of Scotland Technical College, in the Industrial Arts Department. In conjunction to this period, he lectured in furniture design at the School of Art.
He begun working with Wylie &Lochhead in 1893 as a trainee designer, and by the time he left in 1906 he was Chief Designer. There was an element of responsibility regarding the maintenance of house style. Undergoing more commissions, he made furnishings for Robert Coats in Birmingham, and for Lord Weir ofCathcart in Pollockshields.
Taylor’s most successful representation was at the Turin Exhibition in 1902 where he submitted two stained glass panels, two cabinets, a screen and a small table; here one could see the masterful combination of English and Scottish features.
His career fleeted towards being design-manager at George Wragge Ltd., as he relocated to Manchester in 1906, where it is said that he created over 100 stained glass cartoons for the company. Not least, his wife Jessie M. King had a creative flair, and continued to produce gesso panels, illustrations and interior decoration.
It is recorded that the two collectively ran a fine art gallery and art school, Shearling Atelier, in Paris from 1911 to 1914. The influence of modern French art and the Ballet Russes are ever present in his works.
The outbreak of the First World War saw a move to Kirkcudbright. Taylor, rather than designing, took up landscape painting and teaching.
Researched and written by Tony Geering & Kristy Campbell.
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