Arts and Crafts movement 1862 – 1914

Informal movement in architecture and the decorative arts that championed the unity of the arts, the experience of the individual craftsman, and the qualities of materials and construction in the work itself The Arts and Crafts Movement developed in the second half of the 19th century and lasted well into the 20th, drawing its support from progressive artists, architects and designers, philanthropists, amateurs, and middle-class women seeking work in the home They set up small workshops apart from the world of industry, revived old techniques, and revered the humble household objects of pre-industrial times The movement was strongest in the industrializing countries of northern Europe and in the USA, and it can best be understood as an unfocused reaction against industrialization Although quixotic in its anti-industrialism, it was not unique; indeed it was only one among several late 19th-century reform movements, such as the Garden City movement, vegetarianism, and folksong revivals, that set the Romantic values of nature and folk culture against the artificiality of modern life

The Arts and Crafts movement was an international movement in the decorative and fine arts that began in Britain and flourished in Europe and North America between 1880 and 1910, emerging in Japan in the 1920s It stood for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms, and often used medieval, romantic, or folk styles of decoration It advocated economic and social reform and was essentially anti-industrial It had a strong influence on the arts in Europe until it was displaced by Modernism in the 1930s, and its influence continued among craft makers, designers, and town planners long afterwards

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The term was first used by T J Cobden-Sanderson at a meeting of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1887, although the principles and style on which it was based had been developing in England for at least twenty years It was inspired by the ideas of architect Augustus Pugin, writer John Ruskin, and designer William Morris

The movement developed earliest and most fully in the British Isles, and spread across the British Empire and to the rest of Europe and North America It was largely a reaction against the perceived impoverished state of the decorative arts at the time and the conditions in which they were produced