William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain - the exhibition catalogue from Bard Graduate Center/V&A available to buy at Museum Bookstore

William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain

Regular price £59.95

'This book requires only an announcement, not a review, so eminent are its 15 contributors, their scholarship impeccable, its production so magnificent, its subject so various in his abilities. . .This. . .must surely be the art book of the year' - The Evening Standard

William Kent exhibition at V&A

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.

This handsome and scholarly book 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.

Winner of 2015 Alfred J Barr Jr. Award. Winner of the Historians of British Art Book Prize 2015 and shortlisted for the 2014 William MN Berger Prize for British Art History.

  • Author: Susan Weber
  • Hardcover: 656 pages
  • Date published: September 2013
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0300196184
  • Product Dimensions: 31.8 x 26 x 5.7 cm

'William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain is a majestic addition to the literature on British design and is set to become the standard work on a great British innovator and creative genius' - Apollo Magazine

'[A] quite stupendous book. . .The book is an astonishment of scholarship (and photography) and hoists Kent shoulder to shoulder with Robert Adam as one of the two great designers of the 18th century. . .William Kent is also a final gathering of a generation of distinguished scholars: it has the glee of a last heist by the silver foxes of architectural history' - Literary Review

'This is a volume that answers in physical terms the stature of its subject: nearly 700 pages long in large format and with illustrations seemingly beyond count, it is, in every sense, a staggering production . . . it undoubtedly creates a new standard account of Kent’s life and work that is unlikely to be superseded for many years . . .For anyone interested in Kent, the book is surely an essential possession that will delight and engage' - Country Life

'William Kent was one of the most extraordinary English artists of the first half of the 18th century . . . The exhibition’s catalogue . . . will become a standard reference book for Kent as the foremost experts in the field – Julius Bryant, Geoffrey Beard, John Harris, John Dixon Hunt, Frank Salmon and David Watkin – have written the 21 essays' - The Art Newspaper 

'At just short of 700 pages and with superb contributions from no fewer than 15 leading authorities, this is a mighty achievement devoted to a major figure. . .It will remain the definitive account of its subject for many a moon' - The Spectator  

'This book requires only an announcement, not a review, so eminent are its 15 contributors, their scholarship impeccable, its production so magnificent, its subject so various in his abilities. . .This. . .must surely be the art book of the year' - The Evening Standard

'This magisterial volume offers a deeply thoughtful celebration of acclaimed masterpieces as well as a series of specialised studies of less familiar design works and activities. . .no-one would have envisaged such a monumental tribute as this scholarly, highly readable and magnificently illustrated tome. It greatly enlarges out understanding of a seminal figure in design' - The Georgian

'[A] quite stupendous book. . .The book is an astonishment of scholarship (and photography) and hoists Kent shoulder to shoulder with Robert Adam as one of the two great designers of the 18th century. . .William Kent is also a final gathering of a generation of distinguished scholars: it has the glee of a last heist by the silver foxes of architectural history' -  Literary Review