Arriving in London from Scotland in 1878, MacLaren studied at the Royal Academy and worked alongside J J Stevenson and the Cornishman Richard Coad, before starting his own architectural practice in 1886. His subsequent architectural work in London and Scotland drew on his various experiences – Cornish and Scottish vernacular, contemporary architectural fashions in France and America and the prevailing popularity of the Queen Anne and Arts and Crafts styles. His buildings are eclectic and diverse, high in decorative detail and reflect the mid to late-Victorian revival of craft skills.
In 1990 an exhibition of MacLaren’s work was put on at the RIBA Heinz Gallery – the exhibition guide is now very scarce.
The James M MacLaren society has published a facsimile edition of the exhibition guide which is now available from the society. The cost is £7.50 including post and packing and can be ordered via the society website Home | The James M MacLaren Society (jmmaclaren.org) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Holden, FSA. Honorary President, James M MacLaren Society.
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