George Ashdown Audsley (1838-1925) was the designer of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair Organ that forms the nucleus of the present Wanamaker Organ. It began as a scheme for an ideal organ that was published in his monumental two-volume tome "The Art of Organ-Building" (1905). Audsley insisted that his organs have multiple divisions, each of which could have their volume controlled individually by swell shades—a radical idea that received its ultimate expression and vindication in the present Wanamaker Organ. Dr. Audsley was extraordinarily expert in many fields, including architecture, metalwork, fashion, decoration, Japanese ceramics, pipe-organ design and manuscript illumination.
The Friends museum includes an important collection of Audsley memorabilia placed on deposit by descendents Judi Kosco, Holly Audsley-Gyulveszi and Alan K. Audsley. Included are rare photographs and family copies of the illuminated manuscript "The Sermon on the Mount" and "Color and Harmony in Dress."
Among the chief researchers into Dr. Audsley's life is David H. Fox, who has also published a biography of organbuilder Robert Hope-Jones and compiled a major directory of North American organbuilders. The Friends of the Wanamaker Organ website is pleased to host David H. Fox's unpublished biography of Dr. Audsley. Mr. Fox, of course, retains the copyright. Readers with questions or additional information are invited to contact Mr. Fox directly at
  Please click here for David H. Fox's Audsley biography in .pdf format.

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