E. W. Godwin: Aesthetic Movement Architect and Designer was the first exhibition in the United States to examine the prolific career of Edward William Godwin, leading figure in the Aesthetic Movement in Great Britain. Curated by Susan Weber, founder and director of Bard Graduate Center, the exhibition was drawn from major international collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The exhibition explored the breadth of Godwin’s impact, showcasing his major contributions to architecture, furniture, and the decorative arts, but also to English theater production. Paying strict attention to historical realism, Godwin created authentic stage sets, properties, and costumes. Featured in the exhibition was a selection of these works, including costume designs for an 1875 production of “The Merchant of Venice” and for an 1880 staging of “Othello”. Godwin’s other interests ranged from the reform of the architectural profession and the conservation of England’s historic buildings.

On view at Bard Graduate Center from November 18, 1999–February 27, 2000, E. W. Godwin: Aesthetic Movement Architect and Designer featured more than 150 examples of the polymath’s architectural drawings, furniture, ceramics, tiles, metalwork, wallpaper, textiles, and designs for the decorative arts and interiors.