Wild, James William

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Wild, James William (1814–92). English architect. Articled to Basevi, he travelled widely, was Owen Jones's brother-in-law, worked on the decorations of the 1851 Great Exhibition, and was Curator of Sir John Soane's Museum from 1878 until his death. His most distinguished works include the Rundbogenstil Christ Church, Streatham (1840–2), a reworking of the Early Christian basilica type, but influenced by C19 German precedents, with decorations (now largely obliterated) by Owen Jones. If the campanile of the latter is tall, assured, and handsome, it is put in the shade by the gigantic dock-tower, Grimsby, Lincs. (1851–2), based on the tower of the Town Hall in Siena, Italy, but with a crowning minaret influenced by Wild's travels in Egypt and Syria in the 1840s. He contributed to the design of the Huxley Building, Exhibition Road, Kensington, London (1867–71), and was responsible for the exterior of the Bethnal Green Museum, London (1873), around the re-sited ‘Brompton Boilers’, the prefabricated iron structure (by Charles D. Young of Edinburgh) originally erected (1855–6) in South Kensington to house the Museum of Science and Art.


J. Curl (2002b);
D&M (1985);
Sheppard (ed.) (1975)