17 Mar | William Leiper’s Distinctive Eclecticism by Simon Green | The Victorian Society
Architectural historian Simon Green discusses the work of a major neglected Scottish architect.
Date: 17 March 2021
Cost: £5 / Tickets available on Eventbrite
William Leiper 1839 – 1916 had a successful career with a wealth of commissions and contemporary praise but he has been somewhat over-shadowed by his fellow Glaswegians Alexander Greek Thomson 1817- 1975 and Charles Rennie Mackintosh 1868-1928. Unlike them, he did not have a singular distinctive style but worked in a variety of styles and was happy to revisit and repeat designs. This eclecticism which is contrary to Pevsnerian ideas of progression has led some to disregard Leiper’s work. This paper seeks to address this and celebrate the diversity of his achievement. His style which took a variety of architectural forms was recognised in his lifetime as being ‘distinctively Leiperian’. He was an accomplished artist and his love of colour can be seen in some of the surviving sumptuous interior schemes. His work was mainly domestic and ecclesiastic but his most famous work is a carpet factory and among the more unusual projects are the interiors for the Russian Tsar’s yacht and the only Scots Baronial light house.