Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||James Black Fulton |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||11 August 1875 |
|Died: ||11 April 1922 |
|Bio Notes: ||James Black Fulton was born at Fenwick on 11 August 1875, the son of Robert Fulton, journeyman shoemaker and his wife Janet Black. He was related to John Fulton (1803-1853), inventor of the Orrery who also started life as a shoemaker in Fenwick and may have been his great uncle. |
James Black Fulton was first noticed for the quality of his draughtsmanship when he made measured drawings of the woodwork screens in King's College in Aberdeen. Educated at Fenwick and Bearsden, he was articled to William Forsyth McGibbon from February 1890 to 1895, and attended Glasgow School of Art and the Glasgow & West of Scotland Technical College. Thereafter he was with Honeyman & Keppie for two years, moving to London to work first for Niven & Wigglesworth and then for John McKean Brydon, during which period he studied at the RA Schools under Phene Spiers. On Brydon's death in 1901 he moved to the offices of James Glen Sivewright Gibson and then to Aston Webb's. He passed the qualifying exam in 1906 having won the Tite Prize in 1899, the RIBA Drawings Prize in 1900, the Soane Medallion in 1902, the Grissell Medal in 1903, and the Royal Academy Travelling Scholarship, which enabled him to spend two years studying in Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, Germany and Spain, becoming one of the finest architectural draughtsmen of his generation. He was admitted ARIBA on 3 December 1906, his proposers being Webb, Gibson and Henry Thomas Hare.
In or about 1906 he commenced practice at 14 Bedford Row, London where he carried out 'a considerable quantity of private work' and designed the Palace of British Applied Arts and other buildings buildings for the Franco British Exhibition of 1908. He also submitted an exceptionally fine design for the Palace of Peace at the Hague.
During the First World War he enlisted in the Royal Engineers, although over-age and declined a commission. He does not seem to have served abroad and he was discharged with a disability pension due to aortic heart disease.
Having taught under Beresford Pite at the LCC School of Construction for many years, he was appointed Director of Studies at the Glasgow School of Architecture and Professor of Architectural Design at Glasgow School of Art in 1920 where he was briefly a 'good teacher but a hopeless administrator' (W J Smith). Following a routine medical check-up he collapsed in the street outside the Royal College and died shortly afterwards on 11 April 1922 at Bellahouston Hospital. His moveable estate amounted to only £294 10 8d. He was survived by his wife Jessie Bisset Valentine.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|14, Bedford Row, London WC, England||Business||1903||1920|| |
|92, Solar (Salon?) Road, Brixton, London, England||Private||1906 *|| || |
|153, Amesbury Avenue, Streatham Hill, London, England||Private||After 1906||1920|| |
|Glasgow School of Architecture/167, Renfrew Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1920||1922|| |
|17, Claremont Gardens, Milngavie, Glasgow, Scotland||Private||1921||1922|| |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|Ferguson, H C S|| ||Glasgow School of Art: the history|| || ||p138|
|Gray, A Stuart||1985||Edwardian Architecture: A Biographical Dictionary|| || || |
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Builder||12 May 1922|| || || |
|Glasgow Herald||13 April 1922|| || || |
|RIAS Quarterly||1923||Spring||Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)||Obituary by John Keppie p24|
|RIBA Journal||22 April 1922|| ||London: Royal Institute of British Architects||Obituary p412 Main obituary by Beresford Pite and postscript by Edward G Wylie|
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum||RIBA Nomination Papers|| ||A v17 p11 (microfilm reel 19); F no1735 (microfilm reel 14)|