Ernest Gimson

Ernest Gimson was one of eleven children born to Josiah Gimson, six of whom survived to maturity. The family lived at 4 Belmont Villas, now 118 New Walk, and he was sent to Franklin’s School in Stoneygate.

Gimson went on to become a key figure in the Arts & Crafts Movement, inspired by William Morris to become a designer and craftsman the embodied the spirit of the movement in both his design and his personal life.

Here you can read an extensive account of his professional and personal life in the context of the Arts & Crafts Movement.

Ernest William Gimson was born on 21 December 1864 in Leicester, the fourth son of Josiah Gimson and his second wife, Sarah Ansell.

Find out more

Ernest Gimson got his break working in London in an influential architect’s office where he made some lifelong friendships.

Find out more

Following the collapse of Kenton & Company Gimson and Sidney Barnsley considered various options. They were sharing rooms in Raymond Buildings in London and both had architectural projects in hand.

Find out more

Although he is remembered primarily as a designer, Ernest Gimson always thought of himself as an architect. He was passionate about architecture and fiercely protective of his integrity within the profession.

Find out more

Ernest Gimson was one of the most inspiring and influential designers of his age. His friend, the architect, writer and educationalist, W R Lethaby described his furniture as, ‘one kind of ‘perfect’, that is it was useful and right, pleasantly shaped and finished, good enough but not too good for ordinary use’.

Find out more

Gimson's insistence on the use of good quality materials selected with care combined with high standards of workmanship set a standard for Arts and Crafts furniture and indeed for craft furniture up to the present day. He personally tried his hand at many different crafts and sought to employ the most committed makers from a range of disciplines to execute his designs.

Find out more

Find out more about Gimson's personality, his philosophies and his home life.

Find out more

Following Gimson's death in August 1919 Peter Waals continued to run the Daneway Workshops. By December 1919 he was writing to potential clients in his own name on Daneway headed paper. He wrote to the Leicester architect Albert Herbert to promote the workshops.

Find out more

A timeline of the life of Ernest Gimson

Find out more