Back in London…. on to research at The V&A Museum. Architect and Designer, Owen Jones is celebrated for his detailed documentation and reproduction of mosaics and tile work patterns from around the world. He carried this work out during mid 19th Century. Detailed publications and original drawings for color plates of his work are part of the V&A Collection and include ‘Drawing of tiles at the Alhambra’ and ‘Original drawings for The Grammar of Ornament’ published in 1856.
I was fortunate to spend time within The Victoria and Albert Museum’s Prints Room to view first hand Owen Jones’ original drawings. His methodical care and attention to document the patterns was striking. He drew them in a way that allowed the individual elements, their repetition and the underlying structure of the pattern to be understood. There was just enough information and color to understand the very complex patterns, without too much to confuse and overload the page and the eye.
In the V&A’s Library I viewed the published copies of Owen Jones’ ‘The Grammar of Ornament’, that they hold in their collection. The plates within the book were half the size of the original drawings but still retained the clarity, color and quality of the originals. It was great to see his work at this time. It was made all the more valuable and meaningful by my first hand experience of patterns within each of the places I had just visited through my Winston Churchill Fellowship Research.