Arts and Crafts Movement was founded in Great Britain in response to the mass production, having been pioneered by the industrial revolution. It was propagating a program of revival of the art and the craft. Representatives of this current, inspired with ideas of the English writer John Ruskin, wanted to fight with the eclecticism, the exaggerated decoration and the industrial production, which were presented in the Victorian style. It was believed that the industrial revolution through mass production had led to the collapse of the taste, the personality and the morality of people. Arts and Craft caused that the products were made by hand, the return of handicraft. Straighter forms, large smooth surfaces and linear shapes started taking the place of products overloaded with the decorative art. Motives were often taken from nature.

Arts&Crafts design

Style highlights:
- simple forms
- inspiration with natural forms, the flora and the fauna
- simple linear shapes
- abstract forms, inspired by movement and mystical beings
- use of high quality materials
- an interest in Gothic, medieval art, using bold forms and strong colors based on medieval design

Arts and Crafts, aspired to create the method of the aesthetic influence on the industrial production. It was believed in the moral message of the art. Artisans wanted to create  useful and functional art, without losing its aesthetic value. This movement went through two phases. In the first phase, under the chairmanship of William Morris, the inspiration was being drawn from nature. Birds, plants, animals were frequent motives. In the second phase, it they started use more exotic shapes, associated with mystical beings. Utopian ideas have been modified in the confrontation with the life and began to appear more abstract forms. Mckmurdo Arthur and William De Morgan were representatives of the second phase.

In the period of the Arts and Crafts movement,  the authors started establishing its craftsman’s workshops to exchange views and ideas and to educate one’s workshop. The most famous belonged: The Guild and School of Handicraft (United Kingdom), The Society of Arts and Crafts (United States, Boston), Vienna Workshop (Austria) and Krakow Workshop in Poland. Till the 1893 year, The British Gild was publishing its own magazine “The Hobby Horse”.

The name of this trend came from the exhibition “The Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society” organized in London in 1888. There were presented the results of the work of different guilds such as for example The Century Guild and The Art Workers Guild. By the end of the nineteenth century, Arts and Crafts movement ideals had influenced not only the design, but also architecture, painting, sculpture, graphics, book making and photography, domestic design and others.

Arts and Crafts movement counted on aesthetics, simplicity of form and quality of produced products. It  propagated the traditional craft production and handicrafts. In practice, the most of the products were definitely too expensive for the average citizen. However, this trend influenced on the development of the aesthetic design and laid the foundations for the modernism, Bauhaus.

William Morris, Ch.R. Ashbee, F.M. Brown, W. Burgess, E. Burne-Jones, W. Crane, A.H. Mackmurdo, A.W.N. Pugin, D.G. Rossetti, R.N. Shaw, Ch. Voysey, Ph. Webb

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