Sir Ambrose Heal(1872-1959), Furniture designer
Sitter in 4 portraits
Heal was born in Crouch End and educated at Marlborough and the Slade School of Art. Following his apprenticeship to a cabinetmaker, Heal joined the family firm Heal & Son in 1893. In the mid 1890s he began to design simple furniture inspired by the arts and crafts movement. He was a founding member of the Design and Industries Association (DIA) set up in 1914-15 which aimed to bring some of the values of the arts and crafts movement to industrial production. In 1913 Heal became chairman of the firm and they rebuilt the Tottenham Court Road shop, combining good design and art, the store also housed a gallery at the top. Knighted in 1933, Heal was appointed royal designer for industry six years later.