William Morris - The Arts and Crafts of To-day

This colossal event, staged in the specially built Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, was full of new-gothic, neo-Renaissance, neo-everything nightmares of bad design and ponderous art. Morris as a young man was horrified at the ugliness he saw & wanted to create beauty. I get that I totally do.

Last week we headed to Oxfordshire to explore , the former retreat ofWilliam Morris.

In 1860 Morris commissioned a similar minded architect, Philip Webb, to design a house for him and his new wife. The Red House as it is called, was the first building of the Arts and Crafts style.


William Morris The Arts and Crafts of To ..

Willow Bough is one of Morris’ most recognised wallpapers – we wish we had this in our studio!

William Morris was one of the people who initiated the Arts and Crafts movement in design with his fabric, wallpaper and pottery. He believed that if a craftsman made good and heartfelt designs based on a study of nature, and then connected with other people who were making similar quality objects, then the character of the craftsman was improved and society as a whole would then also be improved.


Associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement, ..

The Arts and Crafts style began in England, Oxford England to be more precise, when William Morris, Philip Webb and Edward Burne-Jones started working together towards a social and artistic movement that would have repercussions around the globe. The movement was based partly on the writings of John Ruskin who preached not only a return to craftsmanship and the organic forms of the Gothic, but also a form of socialism. The French Revolution of 1789 - 1799 left all of Europe reeling with the possibilities of a stronger working class. The beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century was changing the fabric of society and inviting autonomy for people other than those born into the aristocracy. The social trends provided by these two influences plus the writings of Ruskin channeled through William Morris became the Arts and Crafts movement. It was not just a style, it was a philosophy.

Arts and Crafts tapestries - tapestry wall hangings for sale

Stickley was a furniture maker and stone mason in Wisconsin. He visited Europe in 1898 and became enamored of the A&C style while viewing the works and workshops of the British movement. Upon his return to America he changed the name of his company to Craftsman Workshops and founded a magazine called , dedicated to the philosophy and craft work of Morris and his followers. The magazine published many home designs, the first being a two storey rubble design called the "Craftsman Home." Like other American architects, Stickley's message was for democracy in design. Every man should have the right to plan out the house that he wants for himself with no allegiance to European style. Like Pugin and Ruskin, Stickley was determined to set people straight on the ‘correct' way to build.

Reference Books - Arts & Crafts Pathfinder - Google Sites

The foremost architect of the Arts and Crafts movement in Ontario was Eden Smith (1859-1949). Smith was born in England and studied art in Birmingham, a stronghold of the A&C movement. Burne-Jones was born in Birmingham, and both Morris and Webb spent a great deal of time there lecturing at the Central School of Art. Like many architects of his day, Smith's academic training was in drawing and painting. He learned the builder's craft while working with his father's construction firm, also in Birmingham. When the firm went bankrupt in 1885, Smith and his family