The Arts & Crafts movement

Leicester Wallpaper by William Morris © Andreas von Einsiedel

Leicester Wallpaper by William Morris

The Arts & Crafts was a British art and design movement which went international, and is also one whose legacy is still with us today.

Born of ideals

Growing from a desire to revive the skill of craftsmanship the Arts & Crafts philosophy aimed to restore simplicity and honesty to how buildings and furnishings were made. The Arts & Crafts movement was a reaction against the Victorian fashion for complicated designs.  

Although it was at its height between about 1895 and 1915, its origins lie a little earlier with the great thinkers John Ruskin and William Morris, who railed against what they felt were the evils of mass industrialisation and machine production.

Inspiring others

Their philosophies of good craftsmanship and pride in one’s work were embraced by people like Ernest Gimson, Sidney and Ernest Barnsley, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Edwin Lutyens.

Such architects used local materials and designed their buildings down to the last detail, sometimes including the furniture, which they might even make themselves.