The Horniman Museum is a British museum which is located in Forest Hill of London, England. It is one of the most famous works of English architect Charles Harrison Townsend. This museum was opened in 1901 which was designed by Charles in Arts and Crafts style.
The Horniman museum was founded by Frederick John Horniman in 1901 and he wanted to construct the museum in arts and crafts style and at that time, the most famous architect was Charles Harrison Townsend. As Frederick had inherited his father’s which was the word’s largest tea trading business, cash flow from the business allowed Horniman indulge the life-long passion of collecting.
Charles Harrison Townsend also built an additional building to the west of Horniman Museum, which contains a lecture hall and a library. The museum was built from 1898-1901 and cost of construction was £40,000.
When the Horniman Museum was constructed for the first time, impressive clock tower became an icon for Horniman which was made from Doulting stone. As this type of stone was hard to find, architect Charles Harrison imported from nearby places and cities. Doulting stones give an impressive look to the clock tower.
As Frederick John Horniman was a traveler and loved to collect arts and crafts items, had collections of more than 30,000 items ranging from natural history, cultural artifacts, and other famous musical instruments.
In 1911, son of Frederick Horniman added library hall and lecture theater to the building. As designed by Charles Harrison, the design was perfect and further renovations were made after 100 years.
There is a neoclassical mosaic located on the London Road elevation of the main building which was designed by Robert Anning Bell and it took almost 200 days to complete the construction.
Well, the interesting thing about this mosaic is that it is assembled by a group of young women from nearby places which was constructed in 1901. This neo-classical design is 10 feet high and 32 feet long which symbolizes personal aspirations and limitation of an individual.
You can easily see beautiful artwork on the mosaic having more than 17,000 tiles on it. You can see two doorways symbolizes birth and death. On the far left, three figures represent art, poetry, and music. You can see handmade art on the mosaic where each figure symbolizes different aspects. The center figure symbolizes humanity and on the right you can see a figure of charity besides that stands wisdom. And at the extreme right, you can see resignation stands on the right doorway which symbolizes death.
At the center of the Horniman Museum, you can see the totem pole facing out onto the London road which was also the first Alaskan totem pole.
It is a 20- foot red cedar structure which was carved in 1985 by Nathan Jackson. The carvings on the pole are beautifully made and depict figures from that of an Alaskan.
On the top of a totem pole, you can see an eagle and beneath that is a girl with a bag who married a bear illustrates a legend from North West Coast of America.
The large apostle clock appears to have been made in Germany in the middle of nineteen century which is made by a variety of odd materials which were used for the construction. The work was done by famous craftsman of the Black Forest (Baden).
On the top of the clock tower, you can see decorative cornice and along with that little-domed turrets. From inside the grounds, you can see the elevation of the clock tower designed by English architect Charles Harrison Townsend. The tower is the fulcrum of the frontage design which rises above the ground as a square which grows upwards into five circles with a curved stone foliage.
The Horniman Museum is one of few large-scale and most popular masterpiece of English freestyle and since its construction, many new changes were made in the design and structure of te museum which includes Library Hall and Lecture Theatre designed by architect Charles Harrison Townsend.