Stuart Durant obituary | Design

My father, Stuart Durant, who has died aged 88, was an creator and lecturer in design and architectural historical past. He wrote the important thing reference ebook Decoration: A Survey of Ornament Since 1830 (1986), which was translated into a number of languages; printed extensively on the Arts and Crafts motion; and was an authority on the 19th-century designer Christopher Dresser. In 2011 he co-authored a ebook on the regeneration of St Pancras Worldwide with its lead architect, Alastair Lansley.

By way of a ardour for antiquarian books, Stuart was in a position to reunite and revive the Color Reference Library on the Royal School of Artwork, London, which exists to today. He was additionally the originator and first editor of the Worldwide Design Yearbook sequence, printed yearly from 1985 till 2007.

Born in Stepney, east London, Stuart was the son of Welsh dad and mom, Cyril Durant, a marine engineer, and Mary (nee Lewis), a schoolteacher. After Surbiton county grammar faculty Stuart undertook nationwide service with the Royal Fusiliers Regiment, then was accepted into the Architectural Affiliation.

He left the AA earlier than qualifying, having had some success with portray. He was chosen for the Younger Contemporaries exhibition (1959), adopted by an Arts Council travelling exhibition. He joined the Outdated Vic as a trainee scene painter, then labored for the BBC as a set designer (1962-64). In 1963 he spent a yr finding out scenography in Milan, earlier than going freelance as a tv set designer. Throughout this time he additionally started designing textiles, a few of which had been produced by the Edinburgh Weavers (1964).

In 1970 he went to the Royal School of Artwork to review for a grasp’s in historical past of design. His thesis was on Dresser and he was invited to put in writing the introductory essay to a High quality Artwork Society exhibition on the designer (1972). The identical yr he co-curated the High quality Artwork Society exhibition Aesthetic Motion and the Cult of Japan. Stuart later contributed an essay for the exhibition catalogue of Shock of the Outdated: Christopher Dresser’s Design Revolution, which toured from the Cooper-Hewitt Nationwide Design Museum, New York, to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (2004).

In 1975 Stuart took up a instructing place at Farnham College of Artwork (now a part of Surrey Institute of Artwork & Design). From 1980 to 1990 he ran the artwork historical past part for the College of Three Dimensional Design at Kingston College, the place he grew to become reader.

He spent a semester lecturing on the Nationwide Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, in western India (1989) and curated additional exhibitions, together with Structure & Childhood (with Elizabeth Darling, 1993), on the RIBA, and The English Backyard, with Michael Whiteway, a travelling exhibition to Japan in affiliation with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (2014-15). Stuart was additionally a gifted musician, poet and satirist.

In 1970 he married Ruth Doniach. They separated in 1995. Stuart is survived by his companion, the botanical artist Joanna Langhorne, his youngsters from his marriage, Miriam, Galia and me, and three grandchildren, Jeanie, Cosmo and Wren.

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