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Gordon Campbell

[Società Cooperativa Aemilia Ars]

Workshop founded in Bologna in 1898 by the architect Alfonso Rubbiani (1848–1913), modelled on the English Arts and Crafts Movement; its formal name was Società Cooperativa Aemilia Ars. At first the workshop produced a wide range of products, including glass and pottery, but from 1902 to 1914 its principal products were textiles, especially lace....

Article

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

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 ad; Dublin, N. Mus.), the Battersea Shield (c. 2nd 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 Century Guild Hobby Horse (1884–92). Perhaps 20 craftsmen in all were associated with the Guild, but the only members were A. H. Mackmurdo, Herbert Horne and Selwyn Image.

The Guild’s work was mainly domestic. It offered textiles, wallpapers, furniture, stained glass, metalwork, decorative painting and architectural design, all of which were displayed at the ...

Article

John Mawer

(b Bodiam, E. Sussex, Feb 17, 1849; d London, Aug 21, 1930).

English designer. He was educated at Marlborough College and New College, Oxford, where he studied drawing under John Ruskin. Although he took Holy Orders in 1873, he continued to practise as a designer and eventually gave up his clerical duties in 1882, the year in which Arthur Mackmurdo founded the Century Guild of Artists, London. In 1883 Mackmurdo and Image opened the Century Guild Workshops. Image painted panels and inscriptions and designed inlaid decoration for furniture made by the Guild and also produced the title-page woodcut for its magazine The Hobby Horse, first published in 1884, which he co-edited from 1886 to 1892. The Guild itself was dissolved in 1888. He undertook design commissions in several fields—stained glass, typography, mosaic and embroidery (for the Royal School of Needlework). He also became active within the Art Workers’ Guild, London, of which he became master in 1900. In the same year he began working for the Glasgow furniture manufacturers ...

Article

Peter Stansky

(b Walthamstow [now in London], March 24, 1834; d London, Oct 3, 1896).

English designer, writer and activist. His importance as both a designer and propagandist for the arts cannot easily be overestimated, and his influence has continued to be felt throughout the 20th century. He was a committed Socialist whose aim was that, as in the Middle Ages, art should be for the people and by the people, a view expressed in several of his writings. After abandoning his training as an architect, he studied painting among members of the Pre-Raphaelites. In 1861 he founded his own firm, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. (from 1875 Morris & Co.), which produced stained glass, furniture, wallpaper and fabrics (see §3 below). Morris’s interests constantly led him into new activities such as his last enterprise, the Kelmscott Press (see §5 below). In 1950 his home at Walthamstow became the William Morris Gallery. The William Morris Society was founded in 1956, and it publishes a biannual journal and quarterly newsletter....

Article

(b Paisley, Renfrewshire, 1864; d Corfe Castle, Dorset, 1948).

Scottish embroiderer and designer. She was the eldest child of William Rowat, a successful shawl manufacturer, and was educated in Paisley and Edinburgh. In 1882 she visited Italy where she was impressed by the mosaics at Ravenna and by peasant craftwork. On her return she attended the Glasgow School of Art, where she studied life drawing and anatomy, later taking a design course in stained glass and textiles. In 1889 she married the school’s principal, Francis H. Newbery (1853–1946), and in 1894 began giving embroidery classes that laid the foundation of the department whose innovative work won international acclaim.

Newbery rebelled against the over-elaborate, stereotyped, poorly designed embroidery predominant at the time, preferring instead to encourage originality and individuality. She stressed that the quality of embroidery was not dependent on intricate stitches and laborious execution: ‘I try to make the most appearance with least effort, but insist that what work is ventured on is as perfect as it may be’ (Gleeson White, p. 48). She believed that embroidery should be an art form available to all social classes: because it was as effective on cheap fabrics, such as linen and calico, as on silks and velvets, it was appropriate for utilitarian as well as decorative items. Most of her embroidery was applied to practical items such as furnishings, collars and belts. As a result of her teaching, embroidery was seen as a specialist subject linked to the other arts....

Article

Donna Corbin

(b Munich, June 20, 1868; d Munich, April 13, 1957).

German designer, architect and painter. The son of a textile manufacturer, he studied painting at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Munich (1888–90); he painted primarily at the beginning and end of his career, and he was a member of the Munich Secession. In 1895 Riemerschmid designed his first furniture, in a neo-Gothic style, for his and his wife’s flat on Hildegardstrasse in Munich. In 1897 he exhibited furniture and paintings at the seventh Internationale Kunstausstellung held at the Glaspalast in Munich. Immediately following the exhibition, the committee members of the decorative arts section, including Riemerschmid and Hermann Obrist, founded the Vereinigte Werkstätten für Kunst im Handwerk. In 1898 Riemerschmid was commissioned to design a music room for the Munich piano manufacturer J. Mayer & Co., which was subsequently exhibited at the Deutsche Kunstausstellung exhibition in Dresden in 1899. The armchair and side chair, with its diagonal bracing, designed for this room, are some of his most original and best-known designs. In ...