Photograph, portrait of W.A.S. Benson
Frederick Hollyer (1837-1933)
Museum no. 7914-1938
Given by Helena Hollyer, 1938
Hollyer was the photographer of choice for the artistic set of the late 19th century. His 'Portraits of Many Persons of Note' fills three volumes with nearly 200 portraits and comprises a pictorial Who's Who of late Victorian and Edwardian celebrities. William Arthur Smith Benson was a metalwork designer and a founder-member of the Art Worker’s Guild, which gave birth to the Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society in 1886. In 1914 he helped found the Design and Industries Association, dedicated to the improvement of industrial design.
His clothes reflect his activities as a proponent of 'Artistic' dress - a late Victorian movement that encouraged looser and more naturally manufactured clothes, fabrics and dyes. His jacket is not as sharply tailored and stiff as those preferred by his more formal contemporaries, and his collar is low.