Louis Osman’s Design Drawings

Louis Osman, one of the outstanding artist designers of his generation, designed a series of high-profile commissions for The Goldsmiths’ Company in the second half of the 20th century.

In 2018 the Company acquired a selection of Osman’s design drawings relating to these  commissions from 1966 -1985. The drawings are works of art in themselves. Covered with annotations and coffee stains, roughly torn out of sketchbooks, they also show how Osman thought and worked; how he transmitted his ambitious design concepts to the specialist makers who realised his intentions. They illuminate the unique streak of fantasy and medieval imagination controlled by modernist rigour which characterised Osman’s best work.

To celebrate the Company’s acquisition of the design drawings, the Company’s Curator, Dr Dora Thornton explored the relationship between the designs and finished pieces which remain in the Collection in an article in the Silver Studies Journal (No.35, 2019). In honour of our Designs on Silver exhibition, the article is available to read online here – reproduced by kind permission of The Silver Society.