G. R. Rigby

Posted on | March 23, 2009 | 4 Comments

One the lesser known yet successful British decorative artists of the late Arts & Crafts era was George (G.R.) Rigby.  Known for his skill in the design of large and very complex stencils, Rigby was also accomplished in designing stencils with more delicate and flowing lines, characteristics not often associated with his craft.  In praise of his design prowess, designer W. G. Sutherland Jr. a contemporary of Rigby, was quoted as saying, “There is one thing he is supreme in and that is the beauty of line he gets with his figure stencils.  I would not even except Walter Crane, who has not that purity of line and grace in his figures that characterises Mr. Rigby’s work.”

Being a skilled designer lead to commissions from several wallpaper manufacturers, particularly the giant Lightbown, Aspinall & Co.  Here are two of their more popular friezes designed by G.R. Rigby: 

The Stanley frieze (1910) with its tulip motif was machine printed with its graduated tones being applied with an “aerograph” (the name for airbrushes at the time).  Many are familiar with it today as we reproduced it a few years ago and now call it Tulip.

Another Rigby favorite is this, the swagged Ontario frieze from 1913, also a machine printed frieze with “aerograph” fades added.  It also “lives again”, now by the name Eleanor.


4 Responses to “G. R. Rigby”

  1. Lynne Rutter
    April 8th, 2009 @ 5:15 pm

    hey steve! what a nice blog! this is lovely!

  2. steve
    April 8th, 2009 @ 5:51 pm

    Thanks Lynne, I would love to have you write a post for us on creating murals sometime… and send some pictures!

  3. Laura Euler
    April 12th, 2009 @ 12:30 pm

    George Rigby also designed for Foley, Peacock Pottery. One green Glasgow rose design usually attributed to George Logan is actually by Rigby.

  4. steve
    April 12th, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

    Laura, your book at glasgowrose.com looks like a beautiful resource!
    Yes, I’ve seen a wallpaper frieze also attributed to George Logan which is very similar to Rigby’s work as well. I’m curious… did anyone ever see both of them in the same room at the same time??


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