Osbert Lancaster: The original style guru – Features – Art – The Independent

osbert lancaster

How do you get a visually unaware nation like 1930s Britain talking about architecture and interior design? You write and illustrate a cartoon version of the History of Architecture, of course. Fill it with funny, but accurate, drawings of buildings, townscapes and interiors, with the learning worn lightly in witty commentaries. And you animate the scene with, say, cartoon cavaliers or Thirties sophisticates at home. And for a nation that likes smart phrase-making, you immortalise building styles with names like “Stockbroker Tudor”, “Wimbledon Transitional” or “Pont Street Dutch”. Such phrases are all part of the architectural language now…

via Osbert Lancaster: The original style guru – Features – Art – The Independent.


Osbert Lancaster’s take on what a Corbusier designed house would look like in London…

osbert homessweethomes 2corbusier ala osbertAnne Scott-James —author, journalist, magazine editor — wrote lovingly of the man she married in 1967:

He like putting on full evening dress, and indeed was known as a dressy man, with cupboards full of expensive clothes including elastic-sided boots and a range of tophats. His usual daytime costume was a suit in a checked pattern, with pink shirt and bow tie, ‘like an upmarket bookmaker’ somebody said, probably himself. He did not usually dress until noon, then he would sail off to a club for lunch, but he had always worked for two hours before this, writing at his large antique desk wearing one of his collection of oriental robes picked up in foreign souks. Even earlier, he had done some creative thinking in the bath, planning his day’s ration of one thousand words before sitting at his desk to write them down in his beautiful hand. Osbert’s work was a pleasure to him, rarely a struggle…

I do not wish to make our marriage sound like and idyll. Osbert would often say, ‘I do not know why I love you so much, you are so absolutely awful’, and we would collapse with laughter…

via Sketches From a Life, by Anne Scott-James

Subscribe to Podcast


  1. Heather in Arles
    February 26, 2015

    Her autobiography sounds wonderful…and what a fascinating husband too…

  2. February 26, 2015


Comments are closed.