Gilbert Bayes:Architectural Work

Gilbert Bayes

Born in London into a family of artists, Bayes’ lengthy career began as a student under Sir George Frampton and Harry Bates, and so became associated with the British New Sculpture movement who included such notable sculptures such as Alfred Gilbert and Edward Onslow Ford with its focus on Architectural sculpture.

Bayes is perhaps best remembered for his interest in colour, his association with the Royal Doulton Company, and his work in polychrome ceramics and enamelled bronze such as the Queen of Time Clock, undertaken for Selfridges in 1930 . His major ceramic frieze at the Doulton Headquarters of 1938 was rescued in the 1960s when the building was demolished. It was renovated and re-located to the gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum which bears his name, but now resides at the V&A’s entrance to the recently redeveloped Architecture Gallery.

He served as President of the Royal British Society of Sculptors from 1939 through 1944. He died in London in 1953. Bayes’ home at 4 Greville Place in St. John’s Wood bears a blue plaque placed by English Heritage in 2007.


Bas-relief panels above the main entrance doors on the front elevation of the London fire brigade HQ on the Albert Embankment .


The London Fire Brigade Headquarters on the Albert Embankment was opened on the 21 July 1937 by King George VI. The building, designed by the London County Council Architects, E.P. Wheeler and assistant architect, G.Weald , to replace the old headquarters building in Southwark.

Front Elevation : The beautiful central reliefs by Bayes, appear a little lost on this huge façade.


 Details of the central reliefs.





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Posted: August 5, 2014


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