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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Sir Aston Webb (1849-1930), Architect and President of the Royal Academy

Architect; born 22 May 1849, in Clapham, Surrey, son of Edward Webb, watercolourist and steel-engraver. Articled to architects Messrs Banks and Barry 1866–71 and attended Architectural Association classes in same period; established own practice 1873; [1] became highly successful, designing (from 1882 in collaboration with Edward Ingress Bell) many official buildings and institutions, including Birmingham Law Courts (1886–91), completion of Victoria and Albert Museum, London (1899–1909), Imperial College London (1900–1906), University of Birmingham (1902–9), Royal College of Science, Dublin (1904–11), Admiralty Arch (1905–11), and refacing entrance front of Buckingham Palace (1913); his buildings are noted for their simple and direct planning, and often profuse detail; elected RA 1903; knighted 1904; president in turn of AA 1881–2, [2] Royal Institute of British Architects 1902–4, and RA 1919–24; died 21 August 1930 in Kensington, London.

Webb was known by his professional colleagues for his charm and courtesy, even if the large gingery-brown moustache which completely obscured his mouth gave some the impression of secretiveness. [3]

Carol Blackett-Ord

Footnotesback to top

1) Differing dates for the start of Webb’s practice: 1873 given in Dungavell 2004; 1874 given in Brodie et al. 2001, vol.2, p.942.
2) Differing dates for Webb’s AA presidency: 1881–2 given in Dungavell 2004; 1884 given in Brodie et al. 2001, vol.2, p.942.
3) Dungavell 2004.

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.

Dungavell 2004
Dungavell, I., ‘Webb, Sir Aston (1849–1930)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004.

Pearson 1979
Pearson, F., Goscombe John at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, 1979.

Phillips [1933]
Phillips, O.S., Solomon J. Solomon: A Memoir of Peace and War, London, [1933].

Physick 1982
Physick, J., The Victoria and Albert Museum, Oxford, 1982.

Rothenstein 1926
Rothenstein, J., The Portrait Drawings of William Rothenstein 1889–1925, London, 1926.

Carol Blackett-Ord