Birds of Many Climes thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, room WS , Case R, Shelf 99, Box R

Birds of Many Climes

Textile Design
c.1914-18 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

C F A Voysey (1857–1941) is one of the best-known and most enduringly popular designers of the Arts & Crafts Movement. A practising architect, he also designed a broad range of applied arts objects, from furniture, ceramics and metalwork to wallpaper, carpets, tiles and fabrics. His two-dimensional designs, are among his best-known works today and are characterized by simple, stylized, rhythmic repeat patterns featuring motifs found in the natural world.

Voysey was particularly fond of birds and one of his greatest talents was to reduce their complex forms into blocks of colour, while retaining their main characteristics. The amount of detail on the birds in this design is unusual. He explains in the catalogue for an exhibition of his work held at the Batsford gallery in 1931, that it is one of a group of designs that he produced for the Central Control Board, Liquor Traffic, to decorate their canteens and public-houses. Explaining the production process, Voysey writes "These were traced, printed by sun process, and hand coloured in order to be quickly multiplied. The entire work of colouring was done by myself".

The British Government set up the Central Board, Liquor Traffic, in 1915 to better control alchohol consumption during World War I (1914-18), which it considered "injurious, and having a prejudicial effect on the output of munitions, the transport of material, or the discipline of the troops". The board acquired and maintained pubs for the purpose of “supplying reasonable refreshments to men engaged in those burdensome tasks, and for the purpose of preventing ... men from abusing the facilities for the supply of intoxicants". It was perhaps hoped that Voysey’s images would encourage drinkers to think on more wholesome pursuits.



object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
pencil, water and bodycolour, pen & ink
Brief Description
C.F.A. Voysey. 'Birds of Many Climes'. British, c.1914-18
Physical Description
Textile design showing a tree on a flowered mound. The majority of the sheet is filled with scrolling branches on which are perched a variety of birds from across the globe. Each bird has its name printed next to its depiction. It is framed in a bespoke gilt frame with a square moulding.
Dimensions
  • Height: 942mm
  • Width: 941mm
Marks and Inscriptions
Subjects depicted
Summary
C F A Voysey (1857–1941) is one of the best-known and most enduringly popular designers of the Arts & Crafts Movement. A practising architect, he also designed a broad range of applied arts objects, from furniture, ceramics and metalwork to wallpaper, carpets, tiles and fabrics. His two-dimensional designs, are among his best-known works today and are characterized by simple, stylized, rhythmic repeat patterns featuring motifs found in the natural world.



Voysey was particularly fond of birds and one of his greatest talents was to reduce their complex forms into blocks of colour, while retaining their main characteristics. The amount of detail on the birds in this design is unusual. He explains in the catalogue for an exhibition of his work held at the Batsford gallery in 1931, that it is one of a group of designs that he produced for the Central Control Board, Liquor Traffic, to decorate their canteens and public-houses. Explaining the production process, Voysey writes "These were traced, printed by sun process, and hand coloured in order to be quickly multiplied. The entire work of colouring was done by myself".



The British Government set up the Central Board, Liquor Traffic, in 1915 to better control alchohol consumption during World War I (1914-18), which it considered "injurious, and having a prejudicial effect on the output of munitions, the transport of material, or the discipline of the troops". The board acquired and maintained pubs for the purpose of “supplying reasonable refreshments to men engaged in those burdensome tasks, and for the purpose of preventing ... men from abusing the facilities for the supply of intoxicants". It was perhaps hoped that Voysey’s images would encourage drinkers to think on more wholesome pursuits.



Bibliographic References
  • John Murdoch and Susan Lambert, Summary Catalogue of Textile Designs 1840-1985 in the V. & A. Museum and colour microfiche, Surrey: Emmett Microform, 1986
  • Taken from Departmental Circulation Register 1931
  • Karen Livingstone, Max Donelly and Linda Parry C F A Voysey: Arts and Crafts Designer London : V & A Publishing, 2016
  • Voysey, C.F.A. Catalogue of an exhibition of the works of C.F. Annesley Voysey FRIBA at the Batsford Gallery, 15 North Audley Street, London W1, October 2 to 17, 1931 with a foreword by Edwin Lutyens pp.4
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.768-1931

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record createdJune 30, 2009
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