Media File
William Walcot
Date: English draftsman, printmaker, and architect, 1874–1943
Biography: William Walcot, British architect, graphic artist and etcher was born at Lustdorf, near Odessa in a mixed Scottish-Russian family. He grew up in Western Europe and South Africa, returning to Russia at the age of 17, and studied arts and architecture under Leon Benois at the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg. Later, he attended art schools in Paris. Walcot's career as an architect in Moscow lasted only six years, but he managed to leave a lasting heritage of refined, pure Art Nouveau. His largest and best known work was the Metropol Hotel.

In 1906, Walcot relocated to London. There he was initially employed as a draughtsman for the South African architect Eustace Frere. He rarely returned to practical construction, designing only one London building: 61 St James's Street (1933). Rather, Walcot worked as an architectural draftsman, famous for his artistic presentation of other architects' designs and exhibiting his own work at the Royal Academy summer exhibitions.

He was the most prominent architectural draughtsman of the 1920-30s, developing a somewhat impressionistic style in gouache and watercolour which won commissions from Edwin Lutyens, Herbert Baker and Aston Webb. He also engaged in printmaking, creating reconstructions of ancient Greek, Roman, Babylonian and Egyptian buildings.

A folio of his work was published in 1919 as Architectural Watercolours and Etchings of William Walcot. He was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists in 1913, as an associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers in 1916 and a Fellow of the RIBA in 1922. He was also an associate of the British School at Rome.

Walcot's successful practice was ruined with the outbreak of World War II, and, in 1943, Walcot committed suicide at Hurstpierpoint, Sussex.