Walter Taylor (1875-1965)

Thames House, Lambeth Bridge, London

The Headquarters of ICI, London with the 1862 suspension bridge at Lambeth Bridge.

Watercolour

Signed, dated 1928 and inscribed

21x29cm

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The picture illustrates ICI’s new headquarters, together with the first modern bridge at Lambeth – the 1862 suspension bridge. Awkwardly steep approaches made horse-drawn traffic dangerous and it soon became primarily a pedestrian crossing, being closed to all vehicles in 1910.

Taylor is best known for his work as a weaver for Morris & Co.; he was taken on as an apprentice in 1890/91 by Morris. He then studied at Putney in 1895/96, Westminster in 1896/97 and the Royal College of Art 1897-1900, subsequently studying to become teacher. In 1909, after 19 years’ service with Morris & Co he took up a teaching post. In 1920 tapestry weaving was introduced at the Central School of Arts & Crafts in London, and Taylor became head of department. Following, as this did, the First World War, a number of ex-servicemen were recruited to the course the first two of which were employed by Morris & Co. after their three years’ training.