International Arts and Crafts: William Morris to Frank Lloyd Wright

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This major exhibition will be the first to explore the Arts and Crafts movement from a truly international perspective. It traces the development of the movement from its flourishing in Britain in the 1880s to its interpretation and development in America, continental Europe, and Japan. The Arts and Crafts movement was arguably one of the most far reaching and influential design movements of modern times. It laid the foundations for international approaches to design and lifestyle in the 20th century through new attitudes toward work, design and home. Until now, no exhibition has brought together Arts and Crafts from around the world, and none has included Japan.

From the pioneering example of William Morris and the writing of John Ruskin, to a new generation of architects, artists, and designers, the movement championed a unity of arts and was broadly defined by the common aims of social and industrial reform, the revival of traditional techniques, and the ideal of art in everyday life. Arts and Crafts emerged in countries throughout the world through similar motivations and concerns. Each region or nation used ideologies that would address their own cultural requirements, and Arts and Crafts has given us some of the most recognizable architecture, art, and design of the age. In America, for example, the Craftsman bungalow would be the most familiar example in domestic architecture.

Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, this exhibition will include 300 masterworks in all media: furniture, textiles, metalwork, ceramics, and glass from museums and private collections all over the world. It will also include photography, paintings, prints, sculpture and architecture. The importance of the home will be high-lighted in four domestic room settings. The exhibition will be divided into four principal geographical sections; and the one devoted to America will include works by Frank Lloyd Wright, Gustav Stickley and Greene and Greene.

International Arts and Crafts will be accompanied by a catalogue with contributions by international experts. Two shorter publications will also accompany the exhibition.

Other venues

Victoria and Albert Museum: March 17 – July 24, 2005
Indianapolis Museum of Art: September 25, 2005 – January 22, 2006


International Arts and Crafts is organized by the V&A, London. The presentation in San Francisco is generously sponsored by the San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums.

Currently on view