Gordon Russell’s life and work
Gordon Russell was a design pioneer – a furniture designer, maker, calligrapher,
entrepreneur, educator, and champion of accessible, well crafted design. Schooled
in the Arts and Crafts tradition of the Cotswolds he believed that good design has
a lasting impact on people’s lives. His great skill was making connections between
hand and machine, craft and design, theory and practice, landscape and architecture.
Located in the original workshop, the Museum celebrates the life and work of Gordon
Russell and his Company over a period of sixty years in Broadway, Worcestershire.
Its unique collection of furniture embraces a range of styles spanning this rich
period of design: from the Arts and Crafts to 30s streamline Modernism; Utility
Furniture to 1980s luxury furniture for an international market. To complement this
collection the Museum has an extensive archive of original drawings, notebooks,
catalogues and correspondence, as well as access to the firm’s original reference
library. It also runs an exciting programme of temporary exhibitions that explore
various aspects of Gordon Russell’s legacy and his impact on contemporary design.
Explore the museum
the machine manners
Gordon Russell believed that the hand crafted tradition of British cabinet making
could be fused with the possibilities of the machine. He succeeded in creating mass
produced furniture that retained a strong sense of tradition and insistence on the
highest possible standards of craftsmanship. Whether attained by hand or machine
his vision was bound up in the pursuit of quality.
The Museum has a comprehensive archive of furniture, metalwork, glassware, textiles,
drawings, plans and other documents from Gordon Russell. This archive can be accessed
by appointment at the Museum in Broadway. Here is a flavour of the material available
Explore the archive
The 20th Century was a period of enormous cultural and social change and development.
Gordon Russell’s life and career spanned many of these momentous changes, from the
tragedy of two world wars, to the triumph of the first man on the moon. Explore
a timeline of his life and see how his work connected with global events, from the
birth of Modernism to the election of Britain’s first female Prime Minister.
Explore the timeline
Whether you are a primary school student, a secondary school teacher or a family
looking for a fun day out, the Museum offers an exciting and varied education programme.
We have created a series of packs for teachers as well as resource notes for students
and a number of activities, packed with fun ideas, for children - all available
to download before your visit. Come and delve into the exciting world of twentieth