William Blake was an English poet and printmaker. Unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. What he called his prophetic works were said by 20th-century critic Northrop Frye to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language", his visual artistry led 21st-century critic Jonathan Jones to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has produced". In 2002, Blake was placed at number 38 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. While he lived in London his entire life, except for three years spent in Felpham, he produced a diverse and symbolically rich œuvre, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God" or "human existence itself". Although Blake was considered mad by contemporaries for his idiosyncratic views, he is held in high regard by critics for his expressiveness and creativity, for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work.
His paintings and poetry have been characterised as part of the Romantic movement and as "Pre-Romantic". A committed Christian, hostile to the Church of England, Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American Revolutions. Though he rejected many of these political beliefs, he maintained an amiable relationship with the political activist Thomas Paine. Despite these known influences, the singularity of Blake's work makes him difficult to classify; the 19th-century scholar William Rossetti characterised him as a "glorious luminary", "a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or surmisable successors". William Blake was born on 28 November 1757 at 28 Broad Street in London, he was the third of seven children. Blake's father, was a hosier, he attended school only long enough to learn reading and writing, leaving at the age of ten, was otherwise educated at home by his mother Catherine Blake. Though the Blakes were English Dissenters, William was baptised on 11 December at St James's Church, London.
The Bible was an early and profound influence on Blake, remained a source of inspiration throughout his life. Blake started engraving copies of drawings of Greek antiquities purchased for him by his father, a practice, preferred to actual drawing. Within these drawings Blake found his first exposure to classical forms through the work of Raphael, Maarten van Heemskerck and Albrecht Dürer; the number of prints and bound books that James and Catherine were able to purchase for young William suggests that the Blakes enjoyed, at least for a time, a comfortable wealth. When William was ten years old, his parents knew enough of his headstrong temperament that he was not sent to school but instead enrolled in drawing classes at Pars's drawing school in the Strand, he read avidly on subjects of his own choosing. During this period, Blake made explorations into poetry. On 4 August 1772, Blake was apprenticed to engraver James Basire of Great Queen Street, at the sum of £52.10, for a term of seven years.
At the end of the term, aged 21, he became a professional engraver. No record survives of any serious disagreement or conflict between the two during the period of Blake's apprenticeship, but Peter Ackroyd's biography notes that Blake added Basire's name to a list of artistic adversaries – and crossed it out; this aside, Basire's style of line-engraving was of a kind held at the time to be old-fashioned compared to the flashier stipple or mezzotint styles. It has been speculated that Blake's instruction in this outmoded form may have been detrimental to his acquiring of work or recognition in life. After two years, Basire sent his apprentice to copy images from the Gothic churches in London, his experiences in Westminster Abbey helped form his artistic style and ideas. The Abbey of his day was decorated with suits of armour, painted funeral effigies and varicoloured waxworks. Ackroyd notes that "...the most immediate would have been of faded brightness and colour". This close study of the Gothic left clear traces in his style.
In the long afternoons Blake spent sketching in the Abbey, he was interrupted by boys from Westminster School, who were allowed in the Abbey. They teased him and one tormented him so much that Basire knocked the boy off a scaffold to the ground, "upon which he fell with terrific Violence". After Basire complained to the Dean, the schoolboys' privilege was withdrawn. Blake experienced visions in the Abbey, he saw Christ and his Apostles and a great procession of monks and priests and heard their chant. On 8 October 1779, Blake became a student at the Royal Academy in Old Somerset House, near the Strand. While the terms of his study required no payment, he was expected to supply his own materials throughout the six-year period. There, he rebelled against what he regarded as the unfinished style of fashionable painters such as Rubens, championed by the school's first president, Joshua Reynolds. Over time, Blake came to detest Reynolds' attitude towards art his pursuit of "general truth" and "general beauty".
Reynolds wrote in his Discourses that the "disposition to abstractions, to generalising and classification, is the great glory of the human mind".
Kingsway is a major road in central London, designated as part of the A4200. It runs from High Holborn, at its north end in the London Borough of Camden, meets Aldwych in the south in the City of Westminster at Bush House, it was opened by King Edward VII in 1905. Together Kingsway and Aldwych form one of the major north-south routes through central London linking the ancient east-west routes of High Holborn and Strand; the road was purpose-built as part of a major redevelopment of the area in the 1900s. Its route cleared away the maze of small streets in Holborn such as Little Queen Street and the surrounding slum dwellings; however Holy Trinity Church, built in Little Queen Street was spared, whereas the Sardinian Embassy Chapel, an important Roman Catholic church attached to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Sardinia, was demolished to make way for the new street. Plans were published by London County Council in 1898 and the road was formally opened in 1905, it is one of the broadest streets in central London at 100 feet wide.
There were several proposed names for the new street, including King Edward VII Street, Empire Avenue, Imperial Avenue and Connecticut Avenue. The name "Kingsway" was in honour of King Edward VII, it was unique in containing below it a tunnel for a tramway, which started just north of Southampton Row, passed beneath Aldwych and continued to the Thames Embankment: this Kingsway tramway subway joined the North and South London tram systems. In 1958 the disused tunnel was reopened at the southern end to make a new connection, the Strand Underpass, for light traffic between Waterloo Bridge and Kingsway in order to reduce congestion. Beneath Kingsway was a branch of the Piccadilly tube line from Holborn to the Strand, it was closed in 1994. The branch platform at Holborn station is still used for television and film sets that require underground scenes. During the Second World War the branch was used to store art treasures from the British Museum, including the Elgin Marbles. On 1 April 2015, electrical cables under the pavement in Kingsway caught fire, leading to serious disruption in central London.
The fire continued for the next two days, with flames shooting out of a manhole cover from a burst gas main, before being extinguished. Several thousand people were evacuated from nearby offices, several theatres cancelled performances. There was substantial disruption to telecoms infrastructure. On 8 April, press reports emerged stating that the fire may have been started as part of the 2015 Hatton Garden burglary; the original buildings were built between 1903 and 1905. They were mid-rises in stone, in various styles including neoclassical and neo-Baroque. Many survive. Notable buildings include: 61 Aldwych Television House, the headquarters of Associated-Rediffusion Television Africa House Alexandra House Aviation House the Church of the Holy Trinity, in an Edwardian Baroque style. Bush House Civil Aviation Authority House Kingsway Hall, Methodist mission hall opened in 1912 and from 1926 the church allowed HMV, EMI from 1931, to use it as a recording studio. In 1944 EMI were joined by Decca Records Victory House York House Various buildings of the London School of Economics The closest tube stations are Holborn, Temple.
As part of the redevelopment a tram tunnel was built underneath the road. The trams ceased to run in the mid 20th century and since 1961 the southern end of the tunnel has been used by cars under the name of the Strand Underpass; the northern entrance to the tunnel still exists and can be found at the junction of Southampton Row and Vernon Place. Kingsway telephone exchange, an underground telephone exchange in Chancery Lane; the King's Way, a song by the English composer Edward Elgar to a poem written by his wife, celebrates the opening of Kingsway. Simon Bradley and Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England, London 6: Westminster, 2003. ISBN 0-300-09595-3. Media related to Kingsway, London WC2 at Wikimedia Commons
Central London is the innermost part of London, in the United Kingdom, spanning several boroughs. Over time, a number of definitions have been used to define the scope of central London for statistics, urban planning and local government, its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally and internationally significant organisations and facilities. Road distances to London are traditionally measured from a central point at Charing Cross, marked by the statue of King Charles I at the junction of the Strand and Cockspur Street, just south of Trafalgar Square; the London Plan defines the "Central Activities Zone" policy area, which comprises the City of London, most of Westminster and the inner parts of Camden, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, Kensington & Chelsea and Wandsworth. It is described as "a unique cluster of vitally important activities including central government offices and embassies, the largest concentration of London's financial and business services sector and the offices of trade, professional bodies, associations, publishing and the media".
For strategic planning, since 2011 there has been a Central London sub-region comprising the boroughs of Camden, Islington and Chelsea, Southwark and the City of London. From 2004 to 2008, the London Plan included a sub-region called Central London comprising Camden, Islington and Chelsea, Southwark and Westminster, it had a 2001 population of 1,525,000. The sub-region was replaced in 2008 with a new structure which amalgamated inner and outer boroughs together; this was altered in 2011 when a new Central London sub-region was created, now including the City of London and excluding Wandsworth. However, districts at the outer edge of this subregion such as Streatham and Dulwich are not considered as Central London; the 1901 census defined Central London as the City of London and the metropolitan boroughs of Bermondsey, Bethnal Green, Holborn, Southwark, Stepney, St Marylebone and Westminster. During the Herbert Commission and the subsequent passage of the London Government Bill, three unsuccessful attempts were made to define an area that would form a central London borough.
The first two were detailed in the 1959 Memorandum of Evidence of the Greater London Group of the London School of Economics. "Scheme A" envisaged a central London borough, one of 25, consisting of the City of London, Holborn and the inner parts of St Marylebone, St Pancras, Chelsea and Lambeth. The boundary deviated from existing lines to include all central London railway stations, the Tower of London and the museums, such that it included small parts of Kensington, Shoreditch and Bermondsey, it had an estimated population of 350,000 and occupied 7,000 acres."Scheme B" delineated central London, as one of 7 boroughs, including most of the City of London, the whole of Finsbury and Holborn, most of Westminster and Southwark, parts of St Pancras, St Marylebone, Paddington and a small part of Kensington. The area occupied 8,000 acres. During the passage of the London Government Bill an amendment was put forward to create a central borough corresponding to the definition used at the 1961 census.
It consisted of the City of London, all of Westminster and Finsbury. The population was estimated to be 270,000
Art Deco, sometimes referred to as Deco, is a style of visual arts and design that first appeared in France just before World War I. Art Deco influenced the design of buildings, jewelry, cars, movie theatres, ocean liners, everyday objects such as radios and vacuum cleaners, it took its name, short for Arts Décoratifs, from the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes held in Paris in 1925. It combined modern styles with rich materials. During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour and faith in social and technological progress. Art Deco was a pastiche of many different styles, sometimes contradictory, united by a desire to be modern. From its outset, Art Deco was influenced by the bold geometric forms of Cubism, it featured rare and expensive materials, such as ebony and ivory, exquisite craftsmanship. The Chrysler Building and other skyscrapers of New York built during the 1920s and 1930s are monuments of the Art Deco style. In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, the Art Deco style became more subdued.
New materials arrived, including chrome plating, stainless steel, plastic. A sleeker form of the style, called Streamline Moderne, appeared in the 1930s. Art Deco is one of the first international styles, but its dominance ended with the beginning of World War II and the rise of the functional and unadorned styles of modern architecture and the International Style of architecture that followed. Art Deco took its name, short for Arts Décoratifs, from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925, though the diverse styles that characterize Art Deco had appeared in Paris and Brussels before World War I; the term arts décoratifs was first used in France in 1858. In 1868, Le Figaro newspaper used the term objets d'art décoratifs with respect to objects for stage scenery created for the Théâtre de l'Opéra. In 1875, furniture designers, textile and glass designers, other craftsmen were given the status of artists by the French government. In response to this, the École royale gratuite de dessin founded in 1766 under King Louis XVI to train artists and artisans in crafts relating to the fine arts, was renamed the National School of Decorative Arts.
It took its present name of ENSAD in 1927. During the 1925 Exposition the architect Le Corbusier wrote a series of articles about the exhibition for his magazine L'Esprit Nouveau under the title, "1925 EXPO. ARTS. DÉCO." which were combined into a book, "L'art décoratif d'aujourd'hui". The book was a spirited attack on the excesses of the lavish objects at the Exposition; the actual phrase "Art déco" did not appear in print until 1966, when it featured in the title of the first modern exhibit on the subject, called Les Années 25: Art déco, Stijl, Esprit nouveau, which covered the variety of major styles in the 1920s and 1930s. The term Art déco was used in a 1966 newspaper article by Hillary Gelson in the Times, describing the different styles at the exhibit. Art Deco gained currency as a broadly applied stylistic label in 1968 when historian Bevis Hillier published the first major academic book on the style: Art Deco of the 20s and 30s. Hillier noted that the term was being used by art dealers and cites The Times and an essay named "Les Arts Déco" in Elle magazine as examples of prior usage.
In 1971, Hillier organized an exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which he details in his book about it, The World of Art Deco. The emergence of Art Deco was connected with the rise in status of decorative artists, who until late in the 19th century had been considered as artisans; the term "arts décoratifs" had been invented in 1875, giving the designers of furniture and other decoration official status. The Société des artistes décorateurs, or SAD, was founded in 1901, decorative artists were given the same rights of authorship as painters and sculptors. A similar movement developed in Italy; the first international exhibition devoted to the decorative arts, the Esposizione international d'Arte decorative moderna, was held in Turin in 1902. Several new magazines devoted to decorative arts were founded in Paris, including Arts et décoration and L'Art décoratif moderne. Decorative arts sections were introduced into the annual salons of the Sociéte des artistes français, in the Salon d'automne.
French nationalism played a part in the resurgence of decorative arts. In 1911, the SAD proposed the holding of a major new international exposition of decorative arts in 1912. No copies of old styles were to be permitted; the exhibit was postponed until 1914 because of the war, postponed until 1925, when it gave its name to the whole family of styles known as Déco. Parisian department stores and fashion designers played an important
London Borough of Camden
The London Borough of Camden is a borough in north west London, forms part of Inner London. In Middlesex, some southern areas of the borough, such as Holborn, are sometimes described as part of the West End of London; the local authority is Camden London Borough Council. The borough was created in 1965 from the former area of the metropolitan boroughs of Hampstead, St Pancras, which had formed part of the County of London; the borough was named after Camden Town, which had gained its name from Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden in 1795. The transcribed diaries of William Copeland Astbury made available, describe Camden and the surrounding areas in great detail from 1829–1848. Sir Jan inspired many of his art works in this area. There are 162 English Heritage blue plaques in the borough of Camden representing the many diverse personalities that have lived there; the southern part of the borough is in the Central Activities Zone including Holborn and King's Cross. The northern part of the borough includes the less densely developed areas of Hampstead, Hampstead Heath and Kentish Town.
Neighbouring boroughs are the City of Westminster and the City of London to the south, Brent to the west and Haringey to the north and Islington to the east. It covers all or part of the N1, N6, N7, N19, NW1, NW2, NW3, NW5, NW6, NW8, EC1, WC1, WC2, W1 and W9 postcode areas. Camden Town Hall is located in Judd Street in St Pancras. Camden London Borough Council was controlled by the Labour Party continuously from 1971 until the 2006 election, when the Liberal Democrats became the largest party. In 2006, two Green Cllrs, Maya de Souza and Adrian Oliver, were elected and were the first Green Party councillors in Camden. In 1985 when the borough was rate-capped, the Labour leadership joined the rebellion in which it declared its inability to set a budget in an unsuccessful attempt to force the Government to allow higher spending. Camden was the fourth to last council to drop out of the campaign, doing so in the early hours of 6 June. Borough councillors are elected every four years. Since May 2002 the electoral wards in Camden are Belsize, Camden Town with Primrose Hill, Fortune Green and Fitzjohns, Gospel Oak, Hampstead Town, Highgate and Covent Garden, Kentish Town, King's Cross, Regent's Park, St Pancras and Somers Town, Swiss Cottage and West Hampstead.
Between 2006 and 2010 Labour lost two seats to the Liberal Democrats through by-elections, in Kentish Town and Haverstock wards. A Labour Councillor in Haverstock ward defected to the Liberal Democrats in February 2009; the Conservatives lost two seats, one to the Liberal Democrats in Hampstead, one to the Green Party, Alexander Goodman, in Highgate, taking the total number of Green Party Councillors to three. At the local elections on 6 May 2010 the Labour party regained full control of Camden council; the organisation's staff are led by the Chief Executive, Mike Cooke. The organisation is divided into five directorates: Housing and Adult Social Care Children and Families Culture & Environment Central Services: Finance Legal Strategy and Organisation Development Chief Executives DepartmentThe directorates are headed by a director who reports directly to the Chief Executive; each directorate is divided into a number of divisions headed by an assistant director. They, in turn, are divided into groups.
This is a similar model to most local government in London. Camden forms part of the Barnet and Camden London Assembly constituency, represented by Andrew Dismore of the Labour Party There are two parliamentary constituencies covering Camden: Hampstead and Kilburn in the north, represented by Labour's Tulip Siddiq, Holborn and St. Pancras in the south, represented by Labour's Keir Starmer. In 1801, the civil parishes that form the modern borough were developed and had a total population of 96,795; this continued to rise swiftly throughout the 19th century as the district became built up, reaching 270,197 in the middle of the century. When the railways arrived the rate of population growth slowed, for while many people were drawn in by new employment, others were made homeless by the new central London termini and construction of lines through the district; the population peaked at 376,500 in the 1890s, after which official efforts began to clear the overcrowded slums around St Pancras and Holborn.
After World War II, further suburban public housing was built to rehouse the many Londoners made homeless in the Blitz, there was an exodus from London towards the new towns under the Abercrombie Plan for London. As industry declined during the 1970s the population continued to decline, falling to 161,100 at the start of the 1980s, it has now begun to rise again with new housing developments on brownfield sites and the release of railway and gas work lands around Kings Cross. A 2017 study found that the eviction rate of 6 per 1,000 renting households in Camden is the lowest rate in London; the 2001 census gave Camden a population of 198,000, an undercount, revised to 202,600. The projected 2006 figure is 227,500. On 20 May 1999, the Camden New Journal newspaper documented'Two Camdens' syndrome as a high-profile phenomenon differentiating the characteristics of education services in its constituencies. In 2006, Dame Julia Neuberger's book reported similar variation as a characteristic of Camden's children's health services.
Her insider's view was corroboration – in addition to the 2001 "Inequalities" report by Director of Public Health Dr. Maggie Barker of "stark contrasts in" health and education opportunities – of earlier similar Audit Commission findings and a verification/update of the 1999 CNJ rep
Long Acre is a street in the City of Westminster in central London. It runs from St Martin's Lane, at its western end, to Drury Lane in the east; the street was completed in the early 17th century and was once known for its coach-makers, for its car dealers. Covent Garden Underground station is located on Long Acre. After the dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540, Henry VIII confiscated the land belonging to Westminster Abbey, including the convent garden of Covent Garden and land to the north called the Elms and Seven Acres. In 1552, his son, Edward VI, granted it to John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford; the Russell family, who in 1694 were advanced in their peerage from Earl to Duke of Bedford, held the land from 1552 to 1918. At the time of Charles I it was renamed Long Acre after the length of the first pathway constructed across the land. Charles took offence at the condition of the road and houses along it, which were the responsibility of Russell and Henry Carey, 2nd Earl of Monmouth. Russell and Carey complained that under the 1625 Proclamation concerning Buildings, which restricted building in and around London, they could not build new houses.
This licence allowed the development of Covent Garden Square to the south of Long Acre. The coach-building trade dominated Long Acre in the 19th century – in 1906, 41 buildings in the street were occupied by firms associated with transport, a mixture of traditional coach-builders and those connected with the motor trade. By 1916 the transition to motor cars and related trades was complete; the Austin Motors showroom was at 134, Mercedes-Benz's at No. 127–130, close to Daimler and Fiat. The section on the north side from Neal Street to Arne Street was occupied by Odhams Press from about 1890 to 1970, it published John Bull, the most popular magazine in Britain from 1916 to 1934. Odhams published The Daily Herald, Women's Own, Debrett's and Sporting Life. Odhams was bought by the International Publishing Corporation in 1961 and the site was closed down in 1969. Prior to Odhams, the site was occupied by the Queen's Theatre, the second-largest theatre in London at the time, after Drury Lane, it was here.
There is a plaque to commemorate the theatre, but it has been placed on the wrong block — the theatre was to the east of Endell Street, not the west. On Acre House is a green plaque commemorating Denis Johnson's workshop, he lived c. 1760 to 1833 and had a workshop here in 1819, selling "hobby horse" bicycles, the first to be sold in the United Kingdom. At No. 132, John Logie Baird made the first British television broadcast in 1929. Just off Long Acre is Langley Street, home of the Pineapple Dance Studios and London Film School, the oldest such school in the world. Just opposite, until 2000, was one of the leading English manufacturers of French horns, it is said that the poet Richard Lovelace spent his final years in great poverty. As a young man, Thomas Paine worked as a corset maker in Long Acre. In 1896, the Freemason's Arms was built. Masonic symbols adorn the façade. Long Acre is numbered 78 to 144 on the north side. At No. 12–14 is Stanfords, one of the oldest and most extensive map shops in the United Kingdom.
At the junction with James Street is Covent Garden Underground station. Long Acre ends in the east at a junction with Drury Lane. Overlooking this junction is Freemasons' Hall, the headquarters of the British Freemasons, on Great Queen Street. Long Acre is numbered B402 in the British road numbering scheme. Media related to Long Acre at Wikimedia Commons