Arts & Craft Movement

image 1 Arts & Craft Movement emerged in the 1880's in reaction to the mass production of goods in the Victorian period. Artist like William Morris and Charles Voysey felt that there had been a decline in craftsmanship skills due to the use of machines.

The decline of rural handicrafts, corresponding to the rise of industrialized society, was a cause for concern for many designers and social reformers, who feared the loss of traditional skills and creativity. Wikipedia

The Arts & Craft Movement was influenced by medieval craftsmanship. Believing one craftsman should make an item from start of finish and only using local materials. Finished pieces would often be unvarnished and simple in design.

William Morris (1834 - 1896). While at Oxford University he met Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The three Pre-Raphaelite artists formed a group called the Brotherhood. The group was soon to be joined with Philip Webb and Ford Madox Brown. These artists specialized in producing stained glass, carving, furniture, wallpaper, carpets and tapestries all inspired by their love of the Medieval period.

William De Morgan (1839 -1917) was a potter that designed tiles, stained glass and furniture for Morris & Co. De Morgan took inspiration from medieval designs, using fish, galleons and animals in his work.

Charles Voysey (1857 -1941) first found success as a textile and wallpaper designer. He produced hundreds of patterns for Essex & Co. His designs were often based around birds, florals and hearts. Voysey also gained recognition as an architect and greatly influenced house design of the 1920's and 1930's. He designed every detail of his buildings from the pitch of roof to the interior decoration. Inspired by the English vernacular style which sourced local stone and materials to reproduce a design that was influenced by the 16th and 17th Century.

Charles Voysey was true to the Arts & Craft movement in believing in function and form. His designs were simple in decoration, using a limited colour palette and using lots of unvarnished hardwoods.


image 1Charles Rennie Macintosh(1868 - 1928) Scottish architect and designer linked with the Arts & Craft movement. He was responsible for the design of the Glasgow School of Art, its library block, the Cranston Tearooms and Hill House in Helensburgh.

Macintosh's style was influenced by the floral Art Nouveau, Scottish landscapes and simple Japanese forms. He was most recognised for his Rose Motif that has been heavily reproduced in the late 1990's and early 2000's. Macintosh influenced many European designers and his work was highly acclaimed when it was shown at the Vienna Secession Exhibition in 1900.




Example of Arts & Craft Furniture

1. Brass candle holders 2. Brass finger plates 3. Oak single wardrobe 4. Oak clock

5. Oak bookcase 6. Minton tile

brass candle holder1 arts craft finger plate2
arts & craft wardrobe3 arts craft oak clock4
arts & craft oak book shelf5 arts craft minton tile 6


Useful Research Websites

The Arts & Crafts Movement in Great Britain 1850-1915

Arts and Crafts Museum

The Arts & Craft Home

Design is History


The Arts & Crafts Companion

The Arts and Crafts Movement

The Arts and Crafts Movement

The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain

The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain