Art Term

Arts and Crafts

Arts and Crafts was a design movement initiated by William Morris in 1861 which aimed to improve the quality of design and make it available to the widest possible audience

William Morris, ‘Guinevere and Iseult: Cartoon for Stained Glass’ 1862
William Morris
Guinevere and Iseult: Cartoon for Stained Glass 1862
Tate

The Arts and Crafts Movement emerged from the Pre-Raphaelite circle with the founding of the design firm Morris and Co. in 1861 by William Morris. He recruited Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown and Edward Burne-Jones as artist-designers with the key principle of raising design to the level of art. Morris emphasised simple functional design without the excess ornament and imitation of past typical of Victorian styles. Wallpapers or fabrics were based on natural motifs, particularly plant forms treated as flat pattern.

The Arts and Crafts movement is often seen as the starting point for modern design approaches, as noted in Nikolaus Pevsner's book Pioneers of Modern Design: William Morris to Walter Gropius first published 1936.

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Selected artists in the collection

Artist

William Morris

1834–1896
Artist
Artist

Ford Madox Brown

1821–1893