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The Gordon Russell Museum in Broadway - dedicated to one of Britain's most influential furniture designers

The Museum, located in the original Grade II listed workshop, celebrates the work of the renowned 20th century furniture designer Sir Gordon Russell MC and that of his Company over a period of sixty years in Broadway, Worcestershire.

The Gordon Russell Museum opened on 4th January 2008 in the original workshop which has been entirely restored to display the unique collection of furniture and archival material.
The collection includes fine furniture, metal-work and glassware covering 60 years of craftsmanship and dedication to design.

Gordon Russell Cabinet"The Broadway Adventure" as Gordon Russel described it, started in 1904 when the family bought the Lygon Arms in Broadway and embarked on creating one of the most famous inns in England.
In the early days fine antique furniture was purchased to furnish the Hotel, much of it in need of repair. Although at the time still at School in Chipping Campden, this sparked Gordon's interest, and led to him designing some simple furniture which was made in the Lygon's small repair shop.

Surviving the First World War, Gordon returned determined to design and create furniture of lasting value for future generations. With the gradual growth of the workshops, the next 60 years saw the realization of this dream. In those early days, with no formal training but fired by a fierce determination Gordon was greatly influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement and its leading practitioners.
The first 10 years saw a great flowering of talent, with designs for furniture, glassware and metalware being entirely produced in the Broadway workshops.

The 1930's saw a move towards modernism, as by now Gordon's younger brother, Dick, was designing for the firm. From now on the machine began to play a greater part in realising Gordon's ambition to be able to produce "decent furniture for ordinary people".

The economic depression which hit England during this period brought about a remarkable change of direction when the Company, as well as making furniture, started to produce radio cabinets for the Murphy Radio Company. The Second World War saw an end to furniture making as the firm moved towards aircraft production, notably the Mosquito bomber. With the men away women took their places and made a significant contribution to the war effort.

Peacetime witnessed a return to production of both domestic furniture and prestigious contracts, including the chairs for Coventry Cathedral, private apartments at Windsor Castle and the Royal Palace of Baghdad. The long established practice of engaging leading consultant designers to work with the "in house designers"continued and ensured the firm being at the leading edge of design and recognised as a world leader. The firm was by now employing 250 highly skilled craftsmen - the sucess and reputation of the firm owes much to their skills and to work of the highest quality.

The museum provides an opportunity to see a remarkable collection representing every aspect of the unique legacy left by a Company recognised by now as a leader in 20th century design.

The Gordon Russell Museum
15 Russell Square
WR12 7AP
Telephone 01386 854695

The Museum is open March to October 10.00 - 17.00 Tuesday to Sunday
November, December and February 11.00 - 16.00 Tuesday to Sunday
The museum is closed on Mondays and throughout January.

Source: Gordon Russell Trust

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