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Alan Crawford

Informal movement in architecture and the decorative arts that championed the unity of the arts, the experience of the individual craftsman, and the qualities of materials and construction in the work itself.

The Arts and Crafts Movement developed in the second half of the 19th century and lasted well into the 20th, drawing its support from progressive artists, architects and designers, philanthropists, amateurs, and middle-class women seeking work in the home. They set up small workshops apart from the world of industry, revived old techniques, and revered the humble household objects of pre-industrial times. The movement was strongest in the industrializing countries of northern Europe and in the USA, and it can best be understood as an unfocused reaction against industrialization. Although quixotic in its anti-industrialism, it was not unique; indeed it was only one among several late 19th-century reform movements, such as the Garden City movement, vegetarianism, and folksong revivals, that set the Romantic values of nature and folk culture against the artificiality of modern life....

Article

Alan Crawford

English designer, writer, architect and social reformer . He was educated at King’s College, Cambridge. As a young man he was deeply influenced by the teachings of John Ruskin and William Morris, and particularly by their vision of creative workmanship in the Middle Ages; such a vision made work in modern times seem like mechanical drudgery. Ashbee played many parts and might be thought a dilettante; but his purpose was always to give a practical expression to what he had learnt from Ruskin and Morris. An intense and rather isolated figure, he found security in a life dedicated to making the world a better place....

Article

He was educated at Winchester and Oxford, and in 1877 he was articled to the architect Basil Champneys. Encouraged by William Morris, in 1880 Benson set up his own workshop in Hammersmith specializing in metalwork. Two years later he established a foundry at Chiswick, a showroom in Kensington and a new factory at Hammersmith (all in London), equipped with machinery to mass-produce a wide range of forms, such as kettles, vases, tables, dishes and firescreens. Benson’s elegant and spare designs were admired for their modernity and minimal use of ornament. He is best known for his lamps and lighting fixtures, mostly in copper and bronze, which are fitted with flat reflective surfaces (e.g. ...

Article

Style rooted in 19th-century antiquarian studies of ancient Celtic art in Britain and Ireland. It was a mainly decorative style and first appeared in the 1840s, remaining fashionable from the 1890s to c. 1914 and lingering on through the 1920s. Derived from the complex, intertwining, linear motifs of ancient Celtic ornament, it was employed in metalwork, jewellery, embroidery, wall decoration, wood inlay, stone-carving and textiles. The Celtic Revival was closely related to the English Arts and Crafts Movement’s aim of social and artistic reform and was part of the general upsurge of Romantic interest in the Middle Ages. Its chief characteristics were raised bosses, tightly enmeshed roundels and bands of sinuous, criss-crossing lines, similar to but more abstract than Art Nouveau designs. Sources of inspiration were such Celtic antiquities as the Tara Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice (both 8th century ...

Article

Stuart Evans

English group of painters, designers and craftsmen, active between c. 1883 and 1892. It was one of the earliest Arts and Crafts groups and initiated the practice of attributing designs to individual craftsmen, which became a firm principle of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Its platform was the ‘unity of the arts’, and its aim was ‘to render all branches of art the sphere, no longer of the businessman, but of the artist’. Although output was limited and sporadic, the group had considerable influence by exhibiting its products and publishing a quarterly magazine, the ...

Article

British, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1862, in Birmingham; died 4 June 1928.

Painter, watercolourist, draughtsman, illustrator, worker in precious metals, designer. Religious subjects, allegorical subjects, portraits. Jewellery.

Arts and Crafts.

Arthur Joseph Gaskin studied at the Birmingham School of Art, where he later taught. He was a member of the Arts and Crafts movement founded by William Morris, whose aim was to revitalise the decorative arts. From 1899, together with his wife Georgina Cave France, he created gold and silver jewellery, sometimes decorated with enamel. In 1902, he replaced R. Catterson Smith as director of the Birmingham School of Jewellery. He exhibited paintings at the Royal Academy in London in 1889 and 1890 and jewellery at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle....

Article

John Mawer

English designer. After training at the Douglas School of Art, Isle of Man (1878–84), he moved to London in 1897 where he worked as a designer for, among others, the Silver Studio and taught at Redhill and Kingston art schools. His important association with ...

Article

Judith O’Callaghan

Australian enamellist, jeweller and silversmith. He trained in Melbourne under J. R. Rowland and in the late 1890s travelled to England, where he worked for a time in the London workshop of Nelson Dawson (1859–1942). By the end of 1900 he had joined ...

Article

English silver designer. The son of a silver and electroplate manufacturer, he was apprenticed to a company of silversmiths and attended evening classes at Sheffield School of Art. In 1897 he won a competition to design a mace for the city of Sheffield, which was made with the English silver designer ...