27th December 2013
William James Neatby (1860-1910) created the ceramic interior design scheme for the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. Neatby worked for Royal Doulton, where he was the Head of Department of Ceramic Architectural Decoration for nearly 20 years. Neatby created a decorative scheme of tiled Art Nouveau panels. The set of 28 panels are decorated with paintings of women in pre-Raphaelite costumes.
Originally, Neatby had trained as an architect but, inspired by the principles of William Morris and the ideals of the Arts & Crafts Movement, devoted himself directly with artisan production. Neatby was a ceramic sculptor and artist who also worked in metalwork, enamelling, stained glass and furniture. In addition, Neatby wrote several works about his artistic endeavours.
Neatby is particularly remembered for his designs for the tiles in Harrods’ Food Hall but he also conceived of schemes for restaurants, theatres, shopping arcades, and galleries.