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Arts and Crafts

Ideas that changed the world.

The Arts & Crafts movement has had a renaissance. Its influence on our time is becoming more and more apparent considering our renewed relationship with handcrafting and sustainability, as well as our interest in the surrounding environment. Our view of the beauty of every-day-things and our need to create is progressively interesting, and worth studying and passing on.
At this seminar, we traced the movement from the fundamental ideas of art critic John Ruskin and artist William Morris. We saw how these ideas developed and spread through crafts settlements, and how they continuously inspired new styles in the same vein. Ruskin’s and Morris’s thoughts on our need to let the hand and mind cooperate to provide a satisfactory sense of being were becoming increasingly important in our digitised world.
The seminar topics introduced new research that focused on the women of the movement and their artistry. The seminar also placed focus on the homes of the movement’s artists; how they were created and what influence they had on British, as well as Swedish, homes. Moreover, we looked at the meaning of the movement’s view on nature and gardens for the preservation of buildings and care for the environment. Finally, we delved into the inspiration of Arts & Crafts in other cultures.

The seminar took place at Engelsberg Ironworks on the 25 April.


Rowan Bain

Principal Curator at the William Morris Gallery, London

Richard Bisgrove

Retired Senior Lecturer, University of Reading

Suzanne Fagence Cooper

Visiting Fellow, University of York

Elisabeth Svalin Gunnarsson

Culture Historian and Writer

Kirsty Hartsiotis

Museum Curator, Freelance Speaker and Writer

Howard Hull

Director and Curator of John Ruskin’s former home, Brantwood

Qaisra Khan

Curator for the Khalili Collections, Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage, London

Karen Livingstone

Deputy Director of Masterplan, Exhibitions and Design at the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge

Cilla Robach

Head of Collection Unit, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

Svante Tirén

Art Historian and Curator specialising in Decorative Arts