A Very Brief Guide To Design Movements – Art and Crafts

This is part of a series of posts summarising key points of different design movements, see A Very Brief Guide To Design Movements – Introduction for more information.

Arts & Crafts


Considered the earliest, possibly first art & design movement

Reaction against industrialisation, mass production and the machine age

1880s – early 1900

Nostalgia for the medieval times – seen as the ‘golden age of creativity and freedom’

Influenced by the gothic revival architecture of Augustus Pugin and the politics and works of Karl Marx and John Ruskin

Sometimes the products intentionally featured evidence of the manual manufacture processes e.g. hammer marks on beaten copper and silver, dovetail joints

Very expensive though – in the end only the upper classes could afford it

Used stylised flowers and birds, allegories from the Bible and literature, Celtic motifs

Artists and craftsmen were seen as equals, neither superior or separate

Took its name from the Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society founded in 1887

Pioneered by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & co.

          founded by William Morris

          included Phillip Webb, Ford Maddox Brown, Dante Gabriel Rosetti

Everything was handmade using traditional methods


   Ashbee_Bird_Brooch_M h2_26_54 ladies_and_animals_

CASE STUDY – William Morris

14348 2270234157_dddfca1eb1 william morris-morris&co-1876-snakeshead 4


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