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Alan Crawford

(b Isleworth, Middx, May 17, 1863; d Godden Green, Kent, May 23, 1942).

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.

In 1888, while he was training to be an architect in the office of G. F. Bodley and Thomas Garner (1839–1906), Ashbee set up the Guild and School of Handicraft in the East End of London. The School lasted only until 1895, but the Guild, a craft workshop that combined the ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement with a romantic, apolitical socialism, was to be the focus of Ashbee’s work for the next 20 years. There were five guildsmen at first, making furniture and base metalwork. In ...

Article

Alice Mackrell

Fashion plates are images made specifically to illustrate to people types of clothes that they should wear to keep up to date with fashions; they also give instructions or guidance on whether the clothing shown would suit the taste and style of the individual wearer. They evolved in the 18th century in Europe and have their origin in 16th-century Trachtenbücher (Ger.: ‘clothing books’), which in turn grew out of a desire for more knowledge about costume and the development of printing. For the first time such books gathered together and illustrated information about costume, jewellery and many new decorative motifs, such as embroidery. They declined during the 19th and 20th centuries when they were superseded by photography. While text was minimal, the illustrations they contained were a record of what was being worn, with particular reference to nationality and rank. The most important of the costume books for the history of costume is considered to be ...

Article

Andreas Kreul

(b Berlin, June 5, 1867; d Amsterdam, Oct 11, 1958).

German art historian and museum director. The son of the court jeweller in Berlin, he studied in Munich, Florence and Leipzig, where he wrote a dissertation on Albrecht Altdorfer. After practical training in Berlin and his first, brief activity at the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne, he became an assistant at the Gemäldegalerie der Staatlichen Museen, Berlin, in 1896. He became Deputy Director in 1904 and Director in 1924; from 1908 he was head of the Kupferstichkabinett. With Wilhelm von Bode he systematically increased the holdings of the Berlin museums and donated a number of important works to the Gemäldegalerie and Kupferstichkabinett. In 1933 he left museum service and in 1939 emigrated to Amsterdam. Friedländer, who had a strongly positivistic education, was regarded as a severe critic of Giovanni Morelli’s method of art analysis, most notably represented in German-speaking countries by Franz Wickhoff. Friedländer wrote over 600 books and articles, especially on early German and early Netherlandish art, and a monograph on ...

Article

Niru Ratnam

Towards the end of the 20th century artists from around the world increasingly started to address issues linked with globalization, for example, the movement of peoples, the movement of trade, the growth of international brands and the seemingly receding importance of the nation state. In addition, curators also started responding to globalization, particularly those curators working on large-scale international exhibitions such as biennials. But how might we describe ‘globalization’—a term that was hardly used before the 1990s—and why should it have anything to do with the way we approach contemporary art? And what are the consequences, if any, if the canonical Western conception of art is opened up to practices from around the world? Do these new practices simply enlarge what we might consider the canon or do they question the structures of that?

‘Globalization’ is a term that emerged in the late 20th century and rapidly entered common currency. There is no single widely accepted theoretical definition of it, but academics and commentators have used it to describe phenomena that range from the rise of multinational corporations, the erosion of the power of the nation state, advances in communication technology, the increased movement of labour and migration and the creation of international forms of governance. Some commentators do not see any of these phenomena as new, and argue that globalization in fact is an on-going long-term set of processes that could include the invention of the telegraph, the development of international trade and the rise of European empires....

Article

In its most general sense, spolia (pl., from Lat. spolium: ‘plunder’) denotes all artifacts re-employed in secondary contexts, from building blocks reused in a wall to pagan gems mounted on a Christian reliquary. It is a matter of debate whether this broad application of the term is justified, or whether it should be restricted to the relatively small subset of reused objects that were taken or ‘stripped’ (like spoils) from their original context, rather than found, purchased, inherited or otherwise acquired by non-violent means. It is likewise debated when the use of spolia should be considered meaningful, if at all. Arnold Esch defined five possible motives for using spolia: convenience, profanation, Christianization, political legitimation and aesthetic attraction. Michael Greenhalgh has argued for reducing the motives to three (at least with regard to marble): pragmatism, aesthetics and ideology; while Finbarr Barry Flood cautioned against reductive interpretations generated by any taxonomy, insisting that reused objects are mutable in meaning and capable of multiple interpretations during their life cycle....

Article

Deborah J. Haynes

(b Hamburg, June 13, 1866; d Hamburg, Oct 26, 1929).

German art historian. His research interests ranged widely, including the art of the Renaissance, costume, festivals, medicine, astrology and magic, but his primary contribution to cultural history is the Warburg Institute.

Warburg was born into a wealthy Jewish banking family and was never obliged to seek academic employment. He trained at the University of Bonn with scholars such as Hermann Usener (1834–1905) and Karl Lamprecht (1856–1915), becoming interested in psychology, in a broad evolutionary perspective and in historical periods of transition. He continued his studies in Munich, Florence and Strasbourg, finally completing a dissertation in 1891 on how Botticelli’s Primavera and the Birth of Venus demonstrate the ‘afterlife of the Antique’. At this time Jacob Burckhardt’s interpretation of the Renaissance as a period of emancipation from medieval values and the rise of the modern individual was being challenged by scholars such as Henry Thode, who argued for an important role for Christian influences. Warburg can be seen as siding with Burckhardt in this disagreement; but whereas Burckhardt conceived of history as progress and the Renaissance as a cultural unity within that progressive movement, Warburg interpreted the Renaissance as a period of transition and uncertainty, viewing it as if abstracted from the course of time. For Warburg history was a vital and energetic tradition, communicated through images as well as words, but these documents could best be understood by looking for their non-temporal unity. Such themes were particularly evident in his dissertation and his writings of ...

Article

Francis R. Kowsky

(b ?London, c. 1815; d London, c. 1872).

English architect and writer, active in the USA . He was the son of a jeweller and trained under R. C. Carpenter. In the 1840s he emigrated to the USA and established a practice first in Hartford, CT, later moving to Philadelphia. From 1851 to 1860 he worked in New York. In 1860 his address was listed as the Brooklyn Post Office (destr.), a building that he had designed. Apparently Wheeler returned to London in the same year, for his name no longer appeared in New York city directories after that date. In London he continued to practise architecture and in 1867 became a FRIBA.

Most of Wheeler’s known commissions were for houses. His designs, which appeared in architectural periodicals and in his own books, contributed to the growing body of literature in the USA that concentrated on the detached middle-class dwelling as a building type. A champion of affordable housing, Wheeler attracted the attention of ...