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<< Week 5 - The Arts & Crafts Movement

Assessment One: To select a classic design example from the Industrial Revolution through to the 1930's, and present to the class a tutorial on your chosen design. The presentation is to be 15 minutes in duration. During the presentation you need to discuss the following:

  • Identify the designer or maker
  • Identify the design period and style
  • Identify the key technological / scientific developments if appropriate
  • Discuss the materials and manufacturing processes
  • Briefly discuss the designer of the piece
  • Submit a list of references or Bibliography in Harvard format.

The Red House Tutorial Presentation

Red House: "more of a poem than a house"..... Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The Red House epitomises all that the Arts & Crafts Movement represented. It was recently acquired by the National Trust and has been restored as a museum.


The house itself was designed by the architect Philip Webb, although the owner, William Morris was very much involved in it's planning and design. The furnishings and fixtures were intrinsic to the house, and these were designed by William Morris himself, as well as his friends Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones (founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood).


Design Period and Style:

The Arts & Craft Movement was politically based rather than evolving as an art/design style. It was linked to the Fine Arts Movement of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a "secret" society of artists. The key features were "the cult of the Medieval" and a return to simplicity and restrained beauty rather than the fussy overdecoration of High Victorian style.


Key Scientific/Technological Developments:

The Arts and Craft Movement was a reaction against many of the scientific and technological developments that were happening at the time in Victorian England. For example, manufacturing processes had enabled mass production for the first time in industries as diverse as textiles, furniture production and printing.

Materials and Manufacturing Processes:

The Movement was opposed to this industrialisation and wanted a return to production methods from earlier centuries - for example, printing wallpapers by hand with wooden blocks.

The Arts & Craft Movement rediscovered many long-forgotten manufacturing processes, and established medieval-style guilds to revive craftsmanship. See:


Discuss the Designer:

Philip Speakman Webb (1831-1915) was born in Oxford, the son of a doctor. With William Morris, he founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, which still operates today:


His architectural style was very minimalist for it's time. Often his buildings had a Gothic style, although he also experimented with Queen Anne styles too. The most distinctive feature of his work was a lack of ornamentation in a period when the mainstream of design was to embellish wherever possible.

Another building on which this group collaborated was St Martin's Church in Brampton, United Kingdom:


Useless But Interesting Fact:

Morris built the Red House to fulfill his dream of an Arthurian idyll, but tragically it became all too real, in the tradition of Guinevere and Lancelot. His beautiful wife, Jane Burden (model for many Pre-Raphaelite paintings) is said to have fallen in love with his best friend, Dante Gabriel Rossetti when he came to live with them at the Red House after being widowed. Although Morris couldn't divorce her - it would have been a scandal in Victorian England - they sold the Red House after only five years. The idyll was shattered and Morris, supposedly heartbroken, threw himself into his work.


Bibliography - Formatted per Harvard Referencing System


Adams, S., 1987, The Arts & Crafts Movement, London: New Burlington Books.
Chartwell Books, 1998, The Pre-Raphaelites, New Jersey: Chartwell Books.
Morris, B., 1989, Liberty Design, London: Pyramid.
Poulson, C., 1989, William Morris, London: New Burlington Books.


Anonymous, 2000? Red House [online], United Kingdom: Unknown. Available from: www.rebs.demon.co.uk [Accessed 2nd March 2004]

Bennett, D., 2003 Ideas & Principles [online], United Kingdom: Bennett, D. Available from: www.artscrafts.org.uk/roots/ideas.html [Accessed 2nd March 2004]

Friends of Red House, 2000, Home - Friends Red House [online], United Kingdom: Friends of Red House. Available from: www.friends-red-house.co.uk/ [Accessed 2nd March 2004]

Kennedy, M., 2003, Key acquisition by National Trust [online], United Kingdom: Guardian Unlimited. Available from:www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/story/0,11711,879750,00.html [Accessed 2nd March 2004]

Moss, R., 2003, Pre-Raphaelite Properties, Houses and Interiors [online], United Kingdom: 24 Hour Museum. Available from: www.24hourmuseum.org.uk/trlout_gfx_en/TRA18191.html [Accessed 2nd March 2004]

National Museums, Liverpool, 2003-2004 Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Portraits and Photographs of Jane Burden Morris [online], Liverpool: National Museums, Liverpool. Available from: www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/exhibitions/rossetti/works/morris.asp [Accessed 2nd March 2004]

The National Trust, 2003, News - The Red House | The National Trust [online], United Kingdom: The National Trust. Available from: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/news/red_house.html [Accessed 2nd March 2004]

Nichols, Dr K. L., 2002 Pre-Raphaelite Women: Models, Lovers, Art-Sisters [online], Pittsburg: Pittsburg State University. Available from: faculty.pittstate.edu/~knichols/lizzie.html [Accessed 2nd March 2004]

The Pre-Raphaelite Society, 2002-4 Pre-RaphaeliteSociety.org [online], Birmingham, United Kingdom: The Pre-Raphelite Society. Available from: www.pre-raphaelitesociety.org [Accessed 2nd March 2004]

Silvester-Carr, D., 2003, Red House: Denise Silvester-Carr visits the house that proved an inspiration to many in the Arts and Crafts movement, and which opens to the public on July 16th. [online], United Kingdom: History Today Ltd. Available from: www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m1373/7_53/104730256/p1/article.jhtml [Accessed 2nd March 2004]

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, 2004? The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings [online], London: The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Available from: www.spab.org.uk [Accessed 2nd March 2004]

Thurgood, J., 2003 Brampton - St Martin's Church [online], United Kingdom: Thurgood, J. Available from: www.visitcumbria.com/car/stmart.htm [Accessed 2nd March 2004]

The William Morris Gallery, 1997, Photographs of Morris and Company from the Gallery's collection [online], United Kingdom: London Borough of Waltham Forest. Available from: www.lbwf.gov.uk/wmg/photos2.htm [Accessed 2nd March 2004]

The William Morris Gallery, 1997, The William Morris Gallery [online], United Kingdom: London Borough of Waltham Forest. Available from: www.lbwf.gov.uk/wmg/home.htm [Accessed 2nd March 2004]

William Morris Society, 2003, William Morris Society: Red House [online], Washington: William Morris Society. Available from: www.morrissociety.org/redhouse.htm [Accessed 2nd March 2004]

William Morris's first wallpaper, Trellis, 1862.
Said to have been inspired by his garden at the Red House.


retrokat.com quite nice sites

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