The Arts and Crafts Movement

The Arts and Crafts Movement

A Study of Its Sources, Ideals, and Influence on Design Theory

Book - 1980
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The Arts and Crafts Movement was concerned with the ethics as much as with the aesthetics of design. Its supporters were inspired by the idealism of Ruskin and Morris to campaign for a world that was fit to live in; in such a world men would enjoy the freedom to be creative, and this freedom would be expressed, in the words of William Morris, in the development of "a decorative, noble, popular art"--design by the people for the people. This then was the ideal, and in their attempts to achieve it, British designers so revitalized the arts of architecture and design that their efforts were admired and emulated throughout Europe and in America. A program that implied social and moral as well as aesthetic reform, however, had its ambiguities. This book, which is concerned with Arts and Crafts design and theory, discusses these ambiguities. The author shows how Arts and Crafts attitudes were conditioned, on the one hand by efforts of such reformers as Sir Henry Cole to create better standards for manufactured goods and on the other by Ruskinian loathing for machinery. The development of the idea that a corrupt society can never achieve anything of value in art, architecture, and design is traced through the work and theory of Pugin, Ruskin, and Morris. The significance and influence of such organizations as the Century Guild, the Art-Workers' Guild, the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, and the Guild of Handicraft is also discussed, as is the work of individual designers, including Gimson, De Morgan, the Martin Brothers, Benson, and Crane. The Arts and Crafts theory, as well as contributing to the development of Art Nouveau, also helped to form the dogma of the Modern Movement; and the conviction that ethics and aesthetics were in some way inseparable was to influence design theory at least until the 1950s. The book is profusely illustrated with photographs, many of them in full color.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, 1980, c1971.
ISBN: 9780262640183
Branch Call Number: 745.4/NAYLOR
Characteristics: 208 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm.


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