Item Number: 109291
Title: WATTS Chapel : A Guide to the Symbols of Mary Watts' Arts and Crafts Masterpiece
Author: Bills, Mark
Price: Not Available
Description: London: Philip Wilson Publishers, distributed by IB Tauris, 2010. 28cm., pbk., 79pp., 132 color, 38 b&w illus. Publisher's summary: Compton Cemetery Chapel is a grade I listed building, created by Mary Watts (1849-1938) between 1894 and 1904. This new book on the building is a guide to the symbolism of the glorious Arts and Crafts patterns that decorate its interior and exterior. Mary’s book, The Word in the Pattern, which outlined her ideas for the symbols, along with the sources that she drew upon, forms the basis of the text. Illustrating all the decorative detail of the chapel, it shows the richness of meaning with which Mary infused its imagery. It is, in effect, a key to the symbols of the building as Mary Watts understood them. She knew that her carefully planned symbolism was both ‘exoteric and esoteric in its character, being in some instances so plain and simple… and in others so hidden and intricate…’ and so would not be immediately open to all who saw it. This guide seeks to make Mary’s ideas clear to all those who wish to know the meanings of the striking figurative and abstract symbols that adorn the building. To Mary, a symbol was a ‘magic key’ that ‘unlocks a door into a world of enchantment.’ It is the hope that this guide will enhance both understanding and enjoyment of this wonderful building.
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