arts and crafts


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Related to arts and crafts: Arts and Crafts Movement

arts and crafts,

term for that general field of applied design in which hand fabrication is dominant. The term was coined in England in the late 19th cent. as a label for the then-current movement directed toward the revivifying of the decorative arts. The chief influence behind this movement was William MorrisMorris, William,
1834–96, English poet, artist, craftsman, designer, social reformer, and printer. He has long been considered one of the great Victorians and has been called the greatest English designer of the 19th cent.
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. By the mid-19th cent., factory processes had almost entirely driven artisans from their ancient trades and threatened to obliterate the techniques they used to produce beautiful objects of utility. The Gothic revivalGothic revival,
term designating a return to the building styles of the Middle Ages. Although the Gothic revival was practiced throughout Europe, it attained its greatest importance in the United States and England.
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, however, had brought into existence a great body of knowledge concerning the arts of the Middle Ages, and Morris, together with the Pre-RaphaelitePre-Raphaelites
, brotherhood of English painters and poets formed in 1848 in protest against what they saw as the low standards and decadence of British art. The principal founders were D. G. Rossetti, W.
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 painters and a small group of architects and designers, returned to these arts as a rich source of inspiration.

The pupils and followers of Morris multiplied, and proficient artisans developed. Their methods aimed at a practical demonstration not only of Morris's aesthetic creed but also of his ideas concerning socialism and the moral need for integrating beauty with the accessories of daily life. The aesthetic and political aspects of the arts and crafts movement influenced the development of modernism, particularly as they were later reflected in the core philosophy of the BauhausBauhaus
, artists' collective and school of art and architecture in Germany (1919–33). The Bauhaus revolutionized art training by combining the teaching of classic arts with the study of crafts.
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. The revival of folk arts has continued to prosper in some quarters, especially in remote communities and among Native Americans of the Southwest and the Eskimos (see North American Native ArtNorth American Native art,
diverse traditional arts of Native North Americans. In recent years Native American arts have become commodities collected and marketed by nonindigenous Americans and Europeans.
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).

A less aestheticized version of the arts and crafts movement was important in the United States, where it spread from England and flourished from the late 19th cent. to about 1915. It was prominent in American architecture and design, notably in the buildings and interiors of Greene and GreeneGreene and Greene,
architectural firm working in the American arts and crafts style, formed by the brothers Charles Sumner Greene, 1868–1957, and Henry Mather Greene, 1870–1954, both b. Brighton (now part of Cincinnati), Ohio.
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 and in the "mission-style" oak furniture of Gustav StickleyStickley, Gustav,
1858–1942, American furniture designer, b. Osceola, Wis. Probably the best-known American associated with the arts and crafts movement, Stickley ran a Binghamton, N.Y., chair factory in the 1880s.
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 (1858–1942) and his contemporaries. The movement's precepts were also applied to ceramics, glassware, utensils, and other objects of American daily life. The arts and crafts movement also spread to continental Europe, where it was quite influential during the late 19th and early 20th cent.

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