Arts and Crafts movement  

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"Art made by the people, and for the people"--William Morris

"The Arts and Crafts movement began primarily as a search for authentic and meaningful styles for the 19th century and as a reaction to the eclectic historicism of the Victorian era and to 'soulless' machine-made production aided by the Industrial Revolution. Considering the machine to be the root cause of all evils, the protagonists of this movement turned away from the use of machines and towards handcraft, which tended to concentrate their productions in the hands of sensitive but well-heeled patrons."--Sholem Stein

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The Arts and Crafts movement was an international trend in the decorative and fine arts that developed earliest and most fully in the British Isles and subsequently spread across the British Empire and to the rest of Europe and America.

Initiated in reaction against the perceived impoverishment of the decorative arts and the conditions in which they were produced, the movement flourished in Europe and North America between about 1880 and 1920. Some consider that it is the root of the Modern Style, a British expression of what later came to be called the Art Nouveau movement. Others consider that it is the incarnation of Art Nouveau in England.

Others consider Art and Crafts to be in opposition to Art Nouveau. Arts and Crafts indeed criticized Art Nouveau for its use of industrial materials such as iron.

Arts and crafts should be “for the people and by the people” proclaimed by William Morris". Henry van de Velde disagreed. He understood the social discourse of Arts and Crafts, but was not an unconditional disciple of it. He ended turning away from it, considering it as anachronistic and tinged with quixoticism.

In Japan, it emerged in the 1920s as the Mingei movement. It stood for traditional craftsmanship, and often used medieval, romantic, or folk styles of decoration. It advocated economic and social reform and was anti-industrial in its orientation. 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.

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 20 years. It was inspired by the ideas of historian Thomas Carlyle, art critic John Ruskin, and designer William Morris. In Scotland, it is associated with key figures such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Viollet le Duc's books on nature and Gothic art also play an essential part in the esthetics of the Arts and Crafts movement.

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