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Kemp, George Meikle

Kemp, George Meikle (1795–1844). Scots self-taught Gothic Revival architect. He worked (1831–2) as a draughtsman for William Burn, and in 1834 prepared drawings for the restoration of St Mungo's Cathedral, Glasgow, that formed the basis for J. Gillespie Graham's scheme published in Plans and Elevations of the Proposed Restorations and Additions to the Cathedral of Glasgow (1836), though Graham caddishly failed to acknowledge Kemp at all. In the event, Blore got the job. In 1838 Kemp won the second competition to design the monument to Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832), Princes Street, Edinburgh, with proposals derived from his meticulous studies of late-Gothic churches on the Continent and in Scotland, and built 1840–6. It is one of the finest and earliest Gothic Revival canopied monuments, of which ‘Great’ Scott's Albert Memorial, London (1863–72), is the most famous example. Kemp was responsible for Maybole West Church, Ayrshire (1836–40), and the south wing of Woodhouselee, Midlothian (1843—demolished). The success of the Scott monument augured well for a career in architecture, but Kemp fell into a canal and drowned (1844) while the building was under construction.

Bibliography

Bonnar (1892);
Colston (1881);
Colvin (1995);
Germann and McW&W (1984)

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