Decorative paneling from the Palace of Westminster

Designed by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 516

These decorative oak panels exemplify the designs of A.W.N Pugin, who was the leading exponent of the Gothic Revival style in England. Pugin’s work is central to the transformation in British design that began in the mid-nineteenth century. He admired what he saw as the honesty and purity of medieval art, and deplored the meaningless repetition of historical motifs. Pugin coined the phrase “Brumagen Gothic,” referring to “those inexhaustible mines of bad taste, Birmingham.”

The carved oak panels for the Palace of Westminster were made for both the House of Lords and House of Commons and are just one component of a larger, Pugin-designed interior program, including brasswork (grill panels, large doors, candelabra and other light fixtures, hardware, and gallery railings), stained glass, tiles, and furniture. These panels are executed in Pugin’s interpretation of the Gothic Revival and feature several different patterns inspired by medieval tracery and linen fold patterns.

Decorative paneling from the Palace of Westminster, Designed by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (British, London 1812–1852 Ramsgate), Oak, British

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