Monday, December 10, 2012

Arts and Crafts Movement

The Arts and Crafts Movement was
about bringing life into art. Most of
Morris' wallpaper portray images of
nature, flowers, and animals. (Garden
, 1870, William Morris)
The influences of the Arts and Crafts Movement were especially significant between the years 1860-1910. The movement was sparked in Britain by the modern medieval architecture of The Red House. The movement quickly spread across Europe and into North America.

The Industrial Revolution brought poor treatment
to the factory workers. Many machines were
made to the height of children because many
started working at a very young age. 

The Industrial Revolution was a period which  brought great changes to ideas of work and craftsmanship world-wide. By the mid-nineteenth century, people were becoming concerned about the effects on the human spirit of living in an industrially produced landscape. The Arts and Crafts Movement challenged many of the core beliefs of the Victorian era. From critique of the poor treatment received by factory workers arose a voicing of anti-industrial sentiments in society. William Morris, the owner and co-designer of the Red House, was strongly influenced by the writings of art critic John Ruskin on this topic. Morris would become a leading figure in the Arts and Crafts Movement with the realization of the Red House. William Morris, John Ruskin, and many others who followed a similar system of belief held had strong desires to return to a Pre-Rennaisance way of life. The Arts and Crafts Movement was largely a response to the poor state of many arts during the Industrial Revolution, and a reaction for promoting handcrafted artifacts. In this movement, quality was valued over quantity, and craftsmanship over technology.  

In many of Morris' paintings,
he turned his wife, Jane Morris,
into images of the romantic
ideal beauty through emphasizing
her mournful features
During the years that William Morris lived in the Red House, he and numerous friends—including Edward Burne-Jones, Philip Webb, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti—started and ran a company called Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co (1861-1875). The main objective of the company was to create decorative interior objects, such included: textiles, wallpaper, stain glass, and furniture. In many ways, the Arts and Crafts Movement and the story of the Red House were tales of romance; both promoted the loving relationship of providing sources of joy and pleasure to the makers and the consumers.

However, even though the idea of the movement was encouraging in its way of promoting creativity, only the very wealth could afford purely handcrafted pieces in the time of industrialization. This was the main flaw behind the idea of the Arts and Crafts Movement; due to this, the idea of art making for the people was lost since it really was only available to the selected few that could afford it. In the end, as the popularity of the Arts and Crafts spread from continents to continents, it began to merge with movements that involved more general interest in design, such as the Art Nouveau--art of continuous, organic, and long line art form. 



"Handmade in Canada - The Art of Craft. 'The Arts and Crafts Movement.'" CBC Digital Archives. Video 
file, 19:14. Accessed December 10, 2012.

"Arts and Crafts Movement (Britain)." Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Accessed December 10, 2012.

"The Arts and Crafts Movement." Art Design and Visual Thinking. Accessed December 10, 2012.


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