The story of Liberty's is the story of design. The brand has been an international byword for style and innovation since May 1875, when Arthur Lasenby Liberty opened the doors of his Regent Steet shop.
The son of a draper, Arthur Liberty (1843-1917) was inspired by the conviction that if he could only raise the capital to open his own shop, he could change the whole look of fashion in dress and interior decoration. He did exactly that.
With an impressive ability to spot talent and to promote good, innovative and interesting design, Liberty's shop quickly became the epicentre of London's Aesthetic movement, the place where Oscar Wilde bought Japanese silk. Succesive movements found a home at Liberty's: Arts and Crafts; Art Nouveau; Art Deco; and the Georgian revival. The work of almost all the great designers of the past century in the fields of glass, metalwork, furniture, ceramics, fashion and, above all, textiles has appeared under the Liberty label.
In this book Martin Wood tells the story of Liberty's, its design and its designers: from the pewter and silverware of Archibald Knox and the Silver Studio and William DeMorgan's tiles to the fabrics of Lucienne Day, Sonia Delaunay and Bernard Nevill and the furniture of Piero Fornasetti, Vico Magistretti and even Ringo Starr.
"a great introduction to the why, what and wherefore of Liberty's well deserved, and rather lovely looking, reputation."
"a must-have for fans of English style"
This book is a historic document, a reminder of times past, a beautifully written work with photographs that accurately depict the interiors. It will be the standard reference book of taste during the second half of the 20th century.
Martin Wood has studied far and wide for his excellent new book on this remarkable person and the result is the best title on taste and design published this year.
Mr. Wood's melding of breezy narrative, lively reproductions of colorful fabric samples, and rarely seen archival images make Lancaster's life and oeuvre seem surprisingly new
"delving into the evolution of the iconic London store"
"a gloriously illustrated book furnishing the life story of Arthur Liberty and his design and crafts dream."
"delightful book ... provides an exquisite overview of the store's history."
"spectacular story brought to life in Martin Wood's gorgeous hardback."