The Arts and Crafts movement, a significant cultural shift that originated in Europe and North America in the mid-19th century, was a response to the rapid industrialisation and mechanisation of society.
It represented a longing for a return to traditional craftsmanship, placing a high value on the quality and aesthetic appeal of handmade items.
This movement had a profound influence on the decorative arts, architecture, and design, advocating for the preservation of traditional techniques that were being overshadowed by mass production. The proponents of the Arts and Crafts movement believed in the inherent beauty of handcrafted items and their ability to enrich the human experience.
Moreover, the Arts and Crafts movement paved the way for the emergence of modernist design. This subsequent movement aimed to reconcile aesthetics with functionality, striving to create objects that were not only beautiful but also affordable and practical.
In essence, the Arts and Crafts movement set the stage for the evolution of design, championing the idea that quality should never be compromised for quantity. This ethos continues to resonate in the design world today.
Illustrations: Commissioned by Smeaton's