Arts and Crafts Movement

The Arts and Crafts movement was a movement of the late 19th century early 20th century first in England and later in other countries. The movement came about as opposition to the industrial revolution and what it did to manufacturing. It had a focus on hand crafted products pushing against items mass produced with machinery. Some of the main proponents of the movement were William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, Phillip Webb, John Ruskin, and Charles Ray-Macintosh. They believed that the connection between the creator and the art was enhanced by the handmade nature of the piece. The movement also stood in opposition of more general industrial problems like workers rights and poverty. It hoped to revive the medieval craftsmanship and create social reform with better production techniques producing art for everyone not just the rich. The Arts and Crafts movement ultimately failed to achieve any large-scale change as the unset of World War 1 took over production and created an industrial boom that took over as the main source of production. The hand-crafted works that the members of the movement produced were also time consuming and as a result expensive with only the wealth being able to afford the works, going against the ethos of the movements initial aims. The movement has left a legacy of elevating craftsmanship with products made by hand today being valued higher than those mass produced.

Philip Webb & William Morris, Red House, 1860

The Red House, pictured above, was the home of William Morris. Morris commissioned Phillip Webb, an architect and fellow member of the movement to build him the house. It would be a place designed in the aesthetics of the movement as well as a place that Morris and his friends could congregate to live and work together.