Sir Gordon Russell was an innovative member of the Arts and Crafts movement. Courtesy Gordon Russell Trust
A new museum dedicated to the Arts and Crafts innovator Gordon Russell is to open with help from a £434,000 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant.
The Gordon Russell Heritage Centre will be housed in the Grade-II-listed workshop used by Russell and his furniture company in Broadway, Worcestershire. It will chart the work, lives and success of the company throughout the 20th century and display a unique collection of furniture, decorative art and archival material.
“The furniture was cutting edge in its day and was a leading force within the Arts and Crafts movement and it’s vital that we protect it and celebrate the story of its success,” said HLF regional manager Anne Jenkins.
Craftsman Jim Turner in the original furniture workshop. Courtesy Gordon Russell Trust
“It’s wonderful news that the collection can be brought out of storage and displayed together for the first time in a dedicated museum,” she added.
Sir Gordon Russell was born in 1892 and built up his furniture business from the 1920s and became internationally recognised for his contribution to design and craftsmanship. He was also a major contributor to the design of mass produced utility furniture during the Second World War.
Russell's work combined a flair for design with functionality. Courtesy Gordon Russell Trust
Work on the centre will begin in early 2006 and should be completed by late summer. Along with recording the story of the furniture and the people who made it, the museum will develop an education programme for local schools and colleges.
Although Sir Gordon died in 1980 the company he founded still operates from its factory in Worcester.