The Arts And Crafts Movement

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Chapter 2 – The Arts and Crafts Movement

The Arts and Crafts Movement of the second half of the 19th century was an English aesthetic movement that started an appreciation of decorative arts throughout Europe. It is difficult to say what exactly can be described as ‘Arts and Crafts’ as the craftsmen and women associated with the movement were working within a spectrum of crafts; as architects, printers, painters, sculptors and jewellers. The revival of Arts and Crafts in the second half of the 19th century incorporated many different traditions of religious, political and aesthetic opinions which were presented in various forms and mediums. Some ideologies were common to the A and C Movement in general. Cumming and Kaplan state “The four principles
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This was a motif common to the A & C Movement. Theorist and critic John Ruskin was one of the A and C Movements most influential figures, he investigated the relationship between labour, society and art. Ruskin wanted individualism within artistic creation at a time when commercial production was rapidly growing and further isolating the designer of an object from its maker. William Morris an English designer, reformer and poet put Ruskin’s ideologies to work. Morris placed significant value on the work, the joy of the craftsperson and the natural beauty of the materials used.
Maybe put this para after Morris case study (go on to talk about des education and students working with machine)
The A and C Movement had a particular interest in the working conditions of the people who produced artefacts. In his book The Arts and Craft Movement, Steven Adams writes “a piece of furniture true to the aims of the Arts and Crafts tradition had not only to be beautiful but also to be the
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9). Morris studied theology at Oxford University (1833-98) web ref there he met Edward Burne-Jones and they both became fascinated with the concept of an artistic community connected and by a shared intent. “he (Morris) wanted to return to the medieval system that supported craft through the notion of artisan guilds (which revered and valued the artist) at a time when the status of the individual maker had been diminished by mechanisation of the Industrial Revolution” (, (2016). The Original Morris & Co. A Full History. [online]). Morris met designer and architect Philip Webb when he dropped out of University and changed his career path to architecture. Soon after this Morris changed his mind again and settled on painting, it was at this time he met Dante Gabriel Rossetti one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of painters, poets and critics, they invited him to join them and went on to gain some success. Morris married Jane Burden in 1859 (Watkinson, 1979, p.

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