Arts and Crafts Movement

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The Arts and Crafts Movement was an international design movement that originated in England[2] and flourished between 1880 and 1910, continuing its influence up to the 1930s.[3] Instigated by the artist and writer William Morris (1834–1896) in the 1860s[2] and inspired by the writings of John Ruskin (1819–1900), it had its earliest and fullest development in the British Isles[3] but spread to Europe and North America[4] as a reaction against the impoverished state of the decorative arts and the conditions under which they were produced.[5]

The movement advocated truth to materials and traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often medieval, romantic or folk styles of decoration. It also proposed economic and social reform and has been seen as essentially anti-industrial.[5][6]


History of the movement

British Isles

The central figure in the Arts and Crafts Movement was William Morris (1834–1896). His ideas emerged from the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, of which he had been a part, and from his reading of Ruskin. In 1861 Morris and his friends founded a company, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., which, under the supervision of the partners, designed and made decorative objects for the home, including wallpaper, textiles, furniture and stained glass. Later it was re-formed as Morris & Co. In 1890 Morris set up the Kelmscott Press, for which he designed a typeface based on Nicolas Jenson's letter forms of the fifteenth century.[7] This printed fine and de-luxe editions of contemporary and historical English literature.

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