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ARTS and CRAFTS 1860 - 1900. The Arts and Crafts Movement was an attempt to elevate the status of craftsmanship and the decorative arts following the rise of the Industrial Revolution and the development of mass production.

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The Arts and Crafts Movement was an attempt to elevate the status of craftsmanship and the decorative arts following the rise of the Industrial Revolution and the development of mass production.

William Morris, known mostly as a book designer, but also as a painter, writer and producer of textiles, stained glass, and wallpaper, headed the movement. He was an advocate of simplicity, good craftsmanship, and good design.

Initially it was inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites’ gothic revival, notably Burne-Jones and Rossetti who produced designs for Morris’ company.

They favoured using local materials, designs, and traditions that allowed the works to function in the daily lives of their owners.

The followers of the Arts and Crafts movement believed that the Industrial Revolution removed creativity and individuality from society. They sought to re-unite the product and the worker and return to honest, beautiful and functional design that was not present in mass-produced items.



Economic system in which most of the means of production are privately owned, and production is guided and income distributed largely through the operation of markets.

Capitalism has been dominant in the Western world since the end of mercantilism. It was fostered by the Reformation, which sanctioned hard work and frugality, and by the rise of industry during the Industrial Revolution, especially the English textile industry (16th – 18th centuries).

Unlike earlier systems, capitalism used the excess of production over consumption to enlarge productive capacity rather than investing it in economically unproductive enterprises such as palaces or cathedrals.

Capitalism is an economic and social system in which capital and land, the non-laborfactors of production (also known as the means of production), are privately owned;[labor, goods and resources are traded in markets; and profit, after taxes, is distributed to the owners or invested in technologies and, industries.



(in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

System of social organization in which private property and the distribution of income are subject to social control; also, the political movements aimed at putting that system into practice.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, seeing socialism as a transition state between capitalism and communism, appropriated what they found useful in socialist movements to develop their "scientific socialism." Sharing the same collective view of mankind as communism, socialism is a political system in which the means of production, distribution and exchange are mostly owned by the state, and used, at least in theory, on behalf of the people (whose 'good' is decided by the legislator).

The idea behind socialism is that the capitalist system is intrinsically unfair, because it concentrates wealth in a few hands and does nothing to safeguard the overall welfare of the majority.

Under socialism, the state redistributes the wealth of society in a more equitable way, according to the judgement of the legislator.


Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was a German[2]philosopher, political economist, historian, political theorist, sociologist, communist, and revolutionary, whose ideas are credited as the foundation of modern communism. Marx summarized his approach in the first line of chapter one of The Communist Manifesto, published in 1848: "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.“

Ideology and socioeconomic theory developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The fundamental ideology of communism, it holds that all people are entitled to enjoy the fruits of their labour but are prevented from doing so in a capitalist economic system, which divides society into two classes: nonowning workers and nonworking owners.

Marx called the resulting situation "alienation," and he said that when the workers repossessed the fruits of their labour, alienation would be overcome and class divisions would cease.

The Marxist theory of history posits class struggle as history's driving force, and it sees capitalism as the most recent and most critical historical stage — most critical because at this stage the proletariat will at last arise united.

The political and economic philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in which the concept of class struggle plays a central role in understanding society's allegedly inevitable development from bourgeois oppression under capitalism to a socialist and ultimately classless society.


COMMUNISMStrictly speaking, communism means a scheme of equalising the social conditions of life; specifically, a scheme which contemplates the abolition of inequalities in the possession of property, as by distributing all wealth equally to all, or by holding all wealth in common for the equal use and advantage of all.

  • The means to achieve this is by collectivisation of all private property.
  • Although meant to indicate the means of production, to be consistent communism requires that no individual may own anything exclusively, privately.: Not the product of his work (thus his mind), nor any personal material benefit he may achieve as a result of it.
  • All material is centralised and distributed by legislators, the intention being to achieve equal utility (of material) by all. Freedom of expression tends also to be mediated by the state for the same reasons and to maintain the 'integrity' of the collective.

Trade unionAn organisation of employees, which acts collectively for mutual protection and assistance and is often concerned with wages and conditions of employment.

Unions represent workers in dealings with employers and government.

Many unions also offer extra services to their members such as advice about finances, access to health services, such as dental care, scholarships to help pay for school books.


Association of craftsmen or merchants formed for mutual aid and for the advancement of their professional interests.

Guilds flourished in Europe between the 11th and 16th century and were of two types: merchant guilds, including all the merchants of a particular town or city; and craft guilds, including all the craftsmen in a particular branch of industry (e.g., weavers, painters, goldsmiths).

Their functions included establishing trade monopolies, setting standards for quality of goods, maintaining stable prices, and gaining leverage in local governments in order to further the interests of the guild. Craft guilds also established hierarchies of craftsmen based on level of training (e.g., masters, journeymen, and apprentices).


Zermatt 1844

Ruskin by Millais 1853-1854



John Ruskin


Ruskin was born in London and educated at the University of Oxford. His father, a wealthy merchant, encouraged his youthful passions for art, literature, and travel.

He set forth his theory about the relationship between art and morality in the first volume of Modern Painters. The two books that followed, The Seven Lamps of Architecture(1849) and The Stones of Venice (1851-1853), were studies in the religious, moral, economic, and political significance of domestic architecture.

Rebelling against the aesthetically numbing and socially debasing effects of the Industrial Revolution, he put forth the theory that art, which is essentially spiritual, reached its zenith in the Gothic art of the late Middle Ages, which was inspired by religious and moral zeal.

Ruskin believed that individual craftsmen produced the most beautiful and unique work. These craftsmen, if given the freedom to design, were capable of producing beautiful works of art befitting religious structures.



Burne-Jones met William Morris at Oxford and became his lifelong friend and collaborator. In 1857 Burne-Jones started designing stained glass and from the founding of the Morris firm in 1861 he was continually occupied with stained glass designs, tiles, gesso-work, embroideries and tapestries


Edward Burne-Jones

The Beguiling of Merlin


Lady Lever Art Gallery, National Museums of Liverpool


Kelmscott Manor, a grade 1 listed farmhouse adjacent to the River Thames, was built around 1600, with an additional wing added to the north east corner in about 1665. The Manor is built of local limestone on the edge of the village of Kelmscott.

William Morris chose it as his summer home, signing a joint lease with the Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti in the summer of 1871.

Morris loved the house as a work of true craftsmanship, totally unspoilt and unaltered, and in harmony with the village and the surrounding countryside. He considered it so natural in its setting as to be almost organic, it looked to him as if it had "grown up out of the soil" with "quaint garrets amongst great timbers of the roof where of old times the tillers and herdsmen slept".

Its beautiful gardens, with barns and dovecote, a meadow and stream, provided a constant source of inspiration.


Red House

The only house commissioned, created and lived in by William Morris, founder of the Arts & Crafts movement.

Red House is a building of extraordinary architectural and social significance. When it was completed in 1860, it was described by Edward Burne-Jones as 'the beautifullest place on earth'

charles barry and augustus pugin houses of parliament and palace of westminster
Charles Barry and Augustus PuginHouses of Parliament and Palace of Westminster

Charles Barry

Augustus Pugin.

Pugin did all his own drawings and supervised every project to the last detail, and told a friend that he did the work of a hundred years in forty.

A portrait photograph of Oscar Wilde, 1882. Probably taken while Wilde was in America on his first lecture tour


Keep in mind also

arts and crafts


America, Australia, NZ