William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement: A Source Book by Linda ParryLinda Parry is former Deputy Keeper of the Department of Furniture, Textiles and Fashion at the V&A, where she worked for over thirty years. She is the author of Textiles of the Arts and Crafts Movement (1988) and British Textiles from 1850 to 1900 (1993), and editor of William Morris (1996). Among the exhibitions she curated at the V&A are Textiles of the Arts and Crafts Movement (1988) and William Morris (1996); she also acted as consultant on International Arts and Crafts (V&A 2005).
John Ruskin & William Morris Aesthetics documentary by Peter Fuller
Arts and Crafts movement
Disenchanted with the impersonal, mechanized direction of society in the 19 th century, they sought to return to a simpler, more fulfilling way of living. The movement is admired for its use of high quality materials and for its emphasis on utility in design. The faith in the ability of art to reshape society exerted a powerful influence on its many successor movements in all branches of the arts. No detail of interior design was overlooked by the pioneer of the Arts and Crafts movement. Don't forget to visit the artist overview pages of the artists that interest you. It was the first house designed by Webb as an independent architect, and the only house that Morris built for himself.
The Arts and Crafts movement was an international trend in the decorative and fine arts that began in Britain and flourished in Europe and North America between about and , emerging in Japan in the s as the Mingei movement. 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. The term was first used by T. Cobden-Sanderson at a meeting of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in ,  although the principles and style on which it was based had been developing in England for at least 20 years. The movement developed earliest and most fully in the British Isles  and spread across the British Empire and to the rest of Europe and America.
In England, during the second half of the nineteenth century, painter, writer, textile designer and social activist William Morris became the motivational leader of a revival in arts and crafts that encompassed stylistically all the visual arts, especially architecture and interiors. The Arts and Crafts movement that he led in England had ramifications that spread world wide. It was perceived, romantically, as being contrived at a much simpler time, when life was lived at a pace that was manageable. Morris believed in a Utopian style of socialism and his affinity with natural handcrafted wares was doggedly pursued. Willliam Morris definitely created.
The Studio, 1893
The birth of the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain in the late 19th century marked the beginning of a change in the value society placed on how things were made. This was a reaction to not only the damaging effects of industrialisation but also the relatively low status of the decorative arts. Arts and Crafts reformed the design and manufacture of everything from buildings to jewellery.
William Morris believed people should be surrounded by beautiful, well-made things. This vision inspired the emergence of the Arts and Crafts movement in the s. As a diverse international movement, Arts and Crafts encompassed many characteristics. There was no single manifesto and no one style to which it adhered. The core characteristics of the Arts and Crafts movement are a belief in craftsmanship which stresses the inherent beauty of the material, the importance of nature as inspiration, and the value of simplicity, utility, and beauty. The movement often promoted reform as part of its philosophy and advanced the idea of the designer as craftsman.
William Morris was a leading member of the Arts and Crafts Movement. He is best known for his pattern designs, particularly on fabrics and wallpapers. His vision in linking art to industry by applying the values of fine art to the production of commercial design was a key stage in the evolution of design as we know it today. William Morris was an artist, designer, printer, typographer, bookbinder, craftsman, poet, writer and champion of socialist ideals. He believed that a designer should have a working knowledge of any media that he used and as a result he spent a lot of time teaching himself a wide variety of techniques. Like many designers of his time, Morris was skilled in a wide range of arts and crafts.
William Morris March 24, —Oct. He also had a profound influence on building design, but he's better known today for his textile designs, which have been repurposed as wallpaper and wrapping paper. William Morris was born on March 24, , in Walthamstow, England. He was the third child of William Morris Sr. Eight survived into adulthood.