American architect, educated in England and on the Continent where he absorbed ideas associated with the Gothic Revival and the Arts-and-Crafts movement. He started practising architecture in Boston, MA, in 1861, and in 1870 won the competition for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the first public art museum in the USA, with a design based on Continental-Gothic exemplars possibly influenced by the University of Oxford Museum by Deane & Woodward in England. He employed English terracotta in the design, heralding other polychrome essays, including the Church of the Advent, Boston (1874–8), in which the influences of Brooks, Pearson, and Street can be detected. He also designed a large number of interesting seaside and country-houses which, after 1870, were influenced by the English Domestic Revival and the works of Eden Nesfield and Norman Shaw, especially those buildings in which the Queen Anne style emerged. Sturgis drew on American Colonial and Federal styles to create new and original works. Among his finest domestic designs was the Ames House, 306 Dartmouth Street, Boston (1882). He was also responsible for the beautiful interiors of the Gardner House, 152–4 Beacon Street, Boston (1882).
SAH, xxxii/2 (May 1973), 83–103;Placzek (ed.) (1982);PAIA, v (1871), 39–43;Jane Turner (1996);van Vynckt (ed.) (1993); Whitehill (1970)
Subjects: Architecture — Art.