Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Alfred Waterhouse (1830-1905), Architect

Architect; born 19 July 1830, in Aigburth, Liverpool, his father a cotton broker and Quaker. Articled to architects in Manchester 1848; ten-month continental tour 1853, after which set up practice in Manchester; opened London office 1865; found fame with Natural History Museum, South Kensington (completed 1880); awarded RIBA Royal Gold Medal 1878 for masterpiece, Manchester Town Hall (1868–94); President of RIBA 1888–91; elected ARA 1878, RA 1885 (for architectural drawings and topographical views); achieved international reputation; retired 1901, the practice continued by son Paul and subsequent generations; [1] died 22 August 1905, at Yattendon Court, Berks.

Though not exclusively devoted to any particular style, and feeling that considerations of practical utility should never give way to archaeological precedent, he has generally, when free to choose, adopted Gothic or Romanesque styles, as being in his opinion most suited to English requirements in the present day. [2]

He joined in founding and was president till 1901 of the ‘Society for checking the Abuses of Public Advertising,’ a form of vulgarisation of the scenery of town or country which was particularly odious to him. [3]

Carol Blackett-Ord

Footnotesback to top

1) See Waterhouse Consult.
2) ILN, 9 Feb. 1978, p.116.
3) [Anon.], 'Waterhouse, Alfred (1830–1905)', DNB, 1912.

Referencesback to top

Brodie et al. 2001
Brodie, A., and others, eds, Directory of British Architects 1834–1914, 2 vols, London and New York, 2001.

Charteris 1931
Charteris, E., The Life and Letters of Sir Edmund Gosse, London, 1931.

Cunningham 2004
Cunningham, C., ‘Waterhouse, Alfred (1830–1905)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004; online ed., January 2010.

Cunningham & Waterhouse 1992
Cunningham, C., and P. Waterhouse, Alfred Waterhouse 1830–1905: Biography of a Practice, Oxford, 1992.

Manning 1982
Manning, E., Marble and Bronze: The Art and Life of Hamo Thornycroft, London, 1982.

Robinson [1892]
Robinson, R.W., Members and Associates of the Royal Academy of Arts, 1891. Photographed in their Studios by Ralph W. Robinson of Redhill, n.p., [1892].

Simon 1996
Simon, J., The Art of the Picture Frame, exh. cat., NPG, London, 1996.

Swanson 1990
Swanson, V.G., The Biography and Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, London, 1990.