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Ideas & Principles

Key Forces.

The Arts and Crafts Movement began in England in

1880's. Some key forces which gave birth to the
movement were:

Rejection of
Classical and
architecture, and
the revival of the
Gothic Style.

A rose design for stained glass by E.A


Rebellion against industrialisation and mass

production by machines.
Leading figures believed in a socialist or utopian
society, striving for good quality of life for all,
including art for the people, by the people.
Nostalgia for the medieval age seen as the golden
age of creativity and freedom.
Artists and craftsman were viewed as equals, art
was no longer a separate or superior activity.
The revival of craftsmanship, honesty in
construction, and truth to materials.
Defining the Arts and Crafts Movement

Walter Crane a leading figure in the development of

the Arts and Crafts movement defined it as follows:
The movement represents in some sense a revolt against the hard
mechanical conventional life and it's insensitivity to beauty. It is a
protest against that so called industrial progress which produces
shoddy wares, the cheapness of which is paid for by the lives of
their producers and the degradation of their users. It is a protest
against the turning of men into machines against artificial
distinctions in art, and against making the immediate market value
or possibility of profit the chief test of artistic merit. It also
advances the claim of all and each to the common possession of
beauty in things common and familiar.
The principles of Arts and Crafts

In general, the development of the Arts and Crafts

movement was led as much by political ideals and the
desire to create a new order as it was by the
nostalgia for earlier styles of architecture and craft.

The term Arts and Crafts does not define an artistic

style such as Art Nouveau or Art Deco, the term
refers more to a set of principles and attitudes in the
mind of the artist or craftsman which involve not only
art but also society and the interaction between the
two. In the words of Michael Haslam:
The ideas behind the Arts and Crafts movement had more to do with
the creation of the Art Object than with the Art object itself. Several
Arts and Crafts objects even bear evidence of this concern with the
processes of manufacture : for instance the hammer marks on beaten
copper or silver were often left clearly visible, and mortise and tennon
joints or dovetailing were exposed and made into prominent features
of some furniture. As well as producing decorative effects, such
details were intended to proclaim loudly that the object had been
made by a craftsman using nothing but his hands and the simplest of