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Arts and Crafts MovementOrigins, History, Aims, Aesthetics. MAIN A-Z INDEX – A-Z of ART MOVEMENTS
St. Cecilia Window (1903) Second Presbyterian Church, Chicago.Stained glass designed by EdwardBurne-Jones, and installed byWilliam Morris & Co.
ContentsOrigins, History, Members • Aims, Aesthetics and Ideals • William Morris • The Red House • Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co • Ideology Not Design • Architecture • Organizations • Arts and Crafts in America • Arts and Crafts across Europe • Collections
Sir Tristram and la Belle Ysoude.Bradford Art GalleryDesigned by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.One of a set of 13 glass panelsmade by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner& Co for Harden Grange.
Replica of the Bayeux Tapestry (1075) Museum of Reading, Berkshire.Made in 1885 by William Morris, alongwith textile maker Thomas Wardle, his wife Elizabeth, and thirtyfemale embroiderers.
Origins, History, Members One of the most influential of modern art movements, the Arts and Crafts Movement was established in Britain about 1862 by the artist and medievalist William Morris (1834-96), in response to the negative social and aesthetic consequences of the Industrial Revolution. The movement took its name from the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, set up in 1888, although its origins went back to the negative sentiment generated by the Great Exhibition of 1851, which was ably articulated by the art critic John Ruskin (1819-1900). His ideas on the need to preserve individual craftsmanship and design had a major impact on William Morris, who founded the design firm of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co to recreate manual craftsmanship in the era of mass production. Although Morris’s firm was a commercial success, only rich people could afford his designs. Even so, his ideas had a strong impact on numerous designers, manufacturers and practitioners of Victorian art, and led to the creation of several organizations to promote Arts and Crafts ideas, such as the Art Workers Guild (1884). The Arts and Crafts Movement was primarily concerned with architecture and the decorative arts, including stained glass, wallpaper, textiles, furnishings, printed fabrics (chintzes), tapestry art, furniture, wood carving, metalwork, ceramics, jewellery and mosaic art. Other artists and designers associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement include the painters Edward Burne-Jones (1833-98), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-82), Ford Madox Brown (1821-93) and the Scottish muralist John Duncan (1866-1945), the ceramicist William de Morgan (1839-1917), the illustrator Aubrey Beardsley (1872-98), the designers Philip Webb (1831-1915), Charles Francis Annesley Voysey (1857-1941) and Charles Ashbee (1863-1942), the architects Richard Norman Shaw (1831-1912), Edward William Godwin (1833-86), and WR Lethaby (1857-1931). The Arts & Crafts Movement opened the door for Art Nouveau in Europe (1890-1905), the modernist designs of Swiss architect Le Corbusier (1887-1965), Walter Gropius (1883-1969) and his Bauhaus Design School in Germany (1919-33) and the Union des Artistes Modernes (UAM) in France. It als influenced C.R.Mackintosh and the Glasgow School of Painting : 1880-1915. (See also Crafts: History, Types.)
EVOLUTION OF VISUAL ARTFor details of art movementsand styles, see: History of Art.For a quick guide to specificstyles, see: Art Movements.
WHAT IS ART?For a guide to the meaning, of the visual arts, see:Definition of Art.
CATEGORIES OF VISUAL ARTSDefinitions, forms, styles, genres, periods, see: Types of Art.
Aims, Aesthetics and Ideals The Arts and Crafts movement was a social/artistic movement of modern art, which began in Britain in the second half of the nineteenth century and continued into the twentieth, spreading to continental Europe and the USA. Its adherents – artists, architects, designers, writers, craftsmen and philanthropists – were united by a common set of aesthetics, that sought to reassert the importance of design and craftsmanship in all the arts in the face of increasing industrialization, which they felt was sacrificing quality in the pursuit of quantity. Its supporters and practitioners were united not so much by a style than by a common goal – a desire to break down the hierarchy of the arts (which elevated fine art like painting and sculpture, but looked down on applied art) , to revive and restore dignity to traditional handicrafts and to make art that could be affordable for all.