Arts and Crafts Movement
The Arts and Crafts Movement became popular in the 1870’s and was first introduced to America through the Gothic Revival as well as through particular works of the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood. William Morris, who lectured on decorative arts, and Ruskin, an art and architecture critic were two notable characters that laid the foundation for the arts and crafts period. The company of William Morris, Morris & Co, started selling wallpaper, fabric, and carpet in the 1870’s. William was an artist, architect, and poet and he valued simplicity, good craftsmanship, and good design over the extravagance of the Victorian style. Morris felt that the Industrial Revolution had isolated people from their own creativity, and thus wanted to return to a style and creativity which could not be found in the newly popular mass produced items. The British movement happening at the same time focused on a detailed gothic style where walls were covered in wallpaper or white washed with themes from medieval times. Textiles and ceramics were realistic and colorful. Because the intricate craftsmanship cost more than factory goods, the average citizen could not afford these items, and thus the work of the Arts and Crafts Movement were limited to the richer upper classes. The arts and crafts movement contributed to American architecture and the development of the Queen Anne Revival. American Arts and Crafts artisans were initially inspired by English work, but later drew inspiration from the American Colonial period and the Old Colony Style. Oscar Wilde was a fan of the arts and crafts movement and actually went on a tour lecturing about the movements ideas.