Sep 12 2011
Godfrey Sykes (1824–1866) trained at the Sheffield School of Art, and later designed the terracotta decoration of the South Kensington Museum, now the V&A. His designs can also be seen in the gates and Sykes Memorial at Weston Park. A new display at Weston Park museum presents a selection of Sykes’ designs on loan from the V&A, and a newly conserved work from Sheffield’s own collection.
The ceiling design pictured above was intended for the new Telegraph Office, on the corner of Haymarket and King Street in central Sheffield, which opened in 1856 and shows that Sheffield was adapting quickly to the emerging technology of the time. However it is unclear from surviving evidence if the ceiling design was ever implemented* and how/when the building was destroyed. It seems likely that the blitz of December 1940 was responsible as King Street was badly hit, though no specific reference to Sykes’ ceiling being lost has yet been found. If you have any more information on the mystery ceiling, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
*We've since discovered that the design was never actually implemented, though there was talk of raising a public subscription to pay for it. In fact the building was demolished in 1930, long before the arrival of the Luftwaffe.
Godfrey Sykes: Sheffield Artist & Designer
continues until 18 December 2011. On Thursday 27 October you can join Christopher Marsden from the V&A for a free lunchtime talk
on Sykes and his work.