Created on: January 20, 2013 Last Updated: January 23, 2013
The Arts and Crafts movement came about as a direct result of consumerism and people's acceptance of goods which were factory produced to low standards during the Victorian period at the end of the 19th century. The shoddy workmanship produced in these factories was seen as a step backward for craftsmen, and the Arts and Crafts movement was in favor of the production of furniture by craftsmen, rather than the fast returns of industrialized factory produced articles. The founding members of the Arts and Crafts movement included
Looking over the European furniture and art history of the period, what comes to light is that all three of these leaders had their own take on what was happening to craftsmen produced work. John Ruskin, for example, who was considered the “Grandfather” of the Arts and Crafts movement, disapproved of any item of furniture being made on factory machines, and also had a great dislike for the “dishonesty” of producing furniture with the facade of quality, which was inferior to that made by craftsmen who were gradually being put out of business. In 1871, he created the Arts and Crafts community, based on his beliefs that factory produced items actually harmed the lifestyle of people in that factories asked their workers to work unreasonable hours, with an end result of expensive and inferior furniture being produced.
All of the main figures who created the Arts and Crafts movement were from artistic backgrounds. Walter Crane, for example, was an illustrator and critic of aesthetics, important for the formation of the Arts and Crafts movement. William Morris, known for his textiles and furniture design, also had very strong views about the industrial revolution and was not afraid to express them. All felt that man was getting more and more distant from creativity because of the industrial revolution; and the philosophy of the movement was to promote honest design.
Although the same philosophy was adopted in other regions, such as the USA, in the Mission and Prairie styles of furniture, the furniture and artistic styles of each country was individual. However, they all followed the same philosophy of giving back artistic endeavor to the craftsmen as opposed to being factory produced.
The name of William Morris is synonymous with designs which use nature as their main theme. His belief that man should go back to nature for inspiration was part
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