Loading... Please wait...
  • Image 1
  • Image 2
  • Image 3
  • Image 4
  • Image 5

William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain edited by Susan Weber


Susan Weber, editor

Winner of the 2015 Alfred H. Barr Jr., Award given by the College Art Association.

The most versatile British designer of the 18th century, William Kent (1685–1748) created a style for a new nation and monarchy. The scope of his achievements encompasses architecture, palatial interiors, elaborate gardens, and exquisite furniture. Among his creative innovations are bold combinations of elements from Palladian, rococo, and gothic design, anticipating the intermingling of architectural styles we see today.  William Kent:Designing Georgian Britain is the first comprehensive exploration of this important designer and his extraordinary creations.

An international team of the foremost experts in the field examines the entire spectrum of Kent’s oeuvre, including the interiors at Kensington Palace and Houghton Hall. Essays illuminate issues about the authorship of Kent’s furniture and metalwork, situate his contributions in relation to architectural discourse, and classify the characteristics of his designs. Copiously illustrated, including many stunning new photographs, this handsome volume celebrates the work and career of one of the most influential figures in the history of architecture and design.



Table of Contents


Note to the Reader

Introduction: Evaluations and Reassessments of William Kent: A Historiography
Susan Weber

Catherine Arbuthnott, John Harris, and Susan Weber

William Kent: A Life
John Harris

The Royal Court, Political Culture, and the Art of Friendship, ca. 1685-1750
Clarissa Campbell Orr

Kent's Patrons
Catherine Arbuthnott

Kent and Italy
Steven Brindle

Kent the Painter
Steven Brindle

Architectural and Ornamental Draftsman
John Harris

Town Houses
David Watkin

From "Gusto" to "Kentissime": Kent's Designs for Country Houses, Villas, and Lodges
Julius Bryant

A Note on "Kent" Frames
Julius Bryant

Kent and the Gothic Revival
Roger White

Royal Commissions
Steven Brindle

The Royal Barge
Geoffrey Beard and John Hardy

Public Commissions
Frank Salmon

Landscape Architecture
John Dixon Hunt

Garden Buildings
John Harris

Kent as Book Illustrator
Nicholas Savage

The Well of Inspiration: Sources for Kent's Furniture Design
Susan Weber

Kent and the Georgian Baroque Style in Furniture: Domestic Commissions
Susan Weber

Kent's Metalwork Designs
Michael Snodin

Exempla Vertutis: Designs for Sculpture
Julius Bryant

The Legacy
Tim Knox

Catalogue of the Exhibition
Selected Bibliography
About the Authors
Photography Credits


Catherine Arbuthnott
Consulting curator of exhibitions at the Bard Graduate Center

Geoffrey Beard
former Director of the Visual Arts Centre at the University of Lancaster

Steven Brindle
Senior Properties Historian in the Curatoorial Department of English Heritage

Julius Bryant
Keeper of Word & Image at the Victoria and Albert Museum

John Harris
Curator Emeritus of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects

John Dixon Hunt
Emeritus Professor of the History and Theory of Landscape at the School of Design

Tim Knox
Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum

Clarissa Campbell Orr
Reader in Enlightenment, Gender, and Court Studies

Frank Salmon
Senior Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Cambridge

Nicholas Savage
Deputy Librarian of the Library and Collections Department of the Royal Academy of Arts

Michael Snodin
Honorary Curator and Chairman of the Strawberry Hill Trust

David Watkin
Emeritus Professor of the History of Architecture at the University of Cambridge

Susan Weber
Founder and Director of the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture

Roger White
Freelance architectural historian and contributing editor of House & Garden magazine

8.20 LBS

Other Details


12.5 x 10.1 x 2.4 in.

Page count
704 pages, 624 color illus.

Publication date
September 19, 2013

Paper over board