Jones, Owen

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Jones, Owen (1809–74). London-born architect and designer of Welsh descent, he is celebrated as an expert on colour and ornament. He travelled extensively, afterwards producing Views on the Nile (1843) and (with Jules Goury (1803–34) ) Plans, Elevations, Sections, and Details of the Alhambra (1836–45), which established him as an authority on Moorish architecture and colour in architecture. He was in demand as a designer of tiles, and published Designs for Mosaics and Tessellated Pavements (1842) and Encaustic Tiles (1843). As well as designing two Moresque houses at 8 and 24 Kensington Palace Gardens, London (1845–7), he was appointed (1850) joint architect of the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, and was responsible for the colour-scheme of red, blue, and yellow in Paxton's Crystal Palace (1851). The success of this led to his employment as director of decorations for the new Crystal Palace at Sydenham (opened 1854). With Semper, Digby Wyatt, and Joseph Bonomi jun., Jones was involved in the creation of ‘Courts’ illustrating various historical architectural styles as part of a permanent exhibition there. The Egyptian Court (1854), designed with Bonomi, was spectacular, polychrome, and scholarly. Jones was very influential in his own lifetime, especially in the evolution of polychromatic ornament: he decorated the interior of Wild's Christ Church, Streatham (1841), and the apse of All Saints' Ennismore Gardens (1850). He taught at the Department of Science and Art in the South Kensington Museum, London, from 1852. His Grammar of Ornament (1856), based on his theories and lectures, illustrated all the known historical styles of ornament in colour, became a source-book of international importance, and showed the potential of non-European, particularly Islamic, schemes of decoration.


Architectura, iv (1974), 53–75;
J. Curl (2005);
Jervis (1984);
O. Jones (1843, 1854, 1863, 1868);
O. Jones & and Bonomi (1854);
O. Jones & and Goury (1836–54);
Physick & and Darby (1973);
Placzek (ed.) (1982);
Sheppard (ed.) (1973)
Jane Turner (1996);
van Zanten (1973)