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Movements, Styles, and Tendencies The Arts & Crafts Movement
The Arts & Crafts Movement Collage

The Arts & Crafts Movement

Started: 1860

Ended: 1920

The Arts & Crafts Movement Timeline

Quotes

"I do not want art for a few; any more than education for a few; or freedom for a few..."
William Morris
"History has remembered the kings and warriors, because they destroyed; art has remembered the people, because they created."
William Morris
"Apart from the desire to produce beautiful things, the leading passion of my life has been and is hatred of modern civilization."
William Morris
"There are elements of intrinsic beauty in the simplification of a house built on the log cabin idea."
Gustav Stickley
"The quiet rhythmic monotone of the wall of logs fills one with the rustic peace of a secluded nook in the woods."
Gustav Stickley

"If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

William Morris Signature

Synopsis

The founders of the Arts & Crafts Movement were some of the first major critics of the Industrial Revolution. Disenchanted with the impersonal, mechanized direction of society in the 19th century, they sought to return to a simpler, more fulfilling way of living. The movement is admired for its use of high quality materials and for its emphasis on utility in design. The Arts & Crafts emerged in the United Kingdom around 1860, at roughly the same time as the closely related Aesthetic Movement, but the spread of the Arts & Crafts across the Atlantic to the United States in the 1890s, enabled it to last longer - at least into the 1920s. Although the movement did not adopt its common name until 1887, in these two countries the Arts & Crafts existed in many variations, and inspired similar contemporaneous groups of artists and reformers in Europe and North America, including Art Nouveau, the Wiener Werkstatte, the Prairie School, and many others. The faith in the ability of art to reshape society exerted a powerful influence on its many successor movements in all branches of the arts.

Key Ideas

The Arts & Crafts movement existed under its specific name in the United Kingdom and the United States, and these two strands are often distinguished from each other by their respective attitudes towards industrialization: in Britain, Arts & Crafts artists and designers tended to be either negative or ambivalent towards the role of the machine in the creative process, while Americans tended to embrace the machine more readily.
The practitioners of the movement strongly believed that the connection forged between the artist and his work through handcraft was the key to producing both human fulfillment and beautiful items that would be useful on an everyday basis; as a result, Arts & Crafts artists are largely associated with the vast range of the decorative arts and architecture as opposed to the "high" arts of painting and sculpture.
The Arts & Crafts aesthetic varied greatly depending on the media and location involved, but it was influenced most prominently by both the imagery of nature and the forms of medieval art, particularly the Gothic style, which enjoyed a revival in Europe and North America during the mid-19th century.

Beginnings

The Arts & Crafts Movement Image

The Arts & Crafts movement grew out of several related strands of thought during the mid-19th century. It was first and foremost a response to social changes initiated by the Industrial Revolution, which began in Britain and whose ill effects were first evident there. Industrialization moved large numbers of working-class laborers into cities that were ill-prepared to deal with an influx of newcomers, crowding them into miserable ramshackle housing and subjecting them to dangerous, harsh jobs with long hours and low pay. Cities likewise became doused regularly with pollution from a bevy of new factories.

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The Arts & Crafts Movement Overview Continues

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Content compiled and written by Peter Clericuzio

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Peter Clericuzio
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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