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The Arts & Crafts Movement Paperback – March 7, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The late 19th-century Arts and Crafts Movement resonated anywhere artists feared that rising industrialization would result in a loss of individuation and creativity, particularly in the decorative arts. Cultural, socioeconomic and political concerns, as well as indigenous style, gave each country's version of the movement a particular emphasis and flair. Blakesley, a senior lecturer in art history and fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge, in this lavish survey of the journey that Arts and Crafts took through Europe, Russia and the United States, shifts the focus from the movement's British and American giants—William Morris, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Frank Lloyd Wright, the Greene brothers—to the many artists and artistic communities that made the movement a worldwide phenomenon. Such a thorough catalogue is not always easy to manage in text, but it's the 250 color images that communicate the true range of the movement and its regional influences, from the folk embroidery of the Hungarian Laura Nagy to Russian kustar, or handicrafts, the magisterial stained-glass of Ireland's An Túr Gloine (the Tower of Glass) and the rediscovery of fine letterpress printing by Morris's Kelmscott Press. Photographs luxuriate in a glorious open design, beautifully printed on thick, rich paper, creating a feast for the eyes. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

'a fresh, meaty and finely illustrated account. [Blakesley] steers us effortlessly through the complex web of ideas which underlay their thinking and the different communities of artists and thinkers who made up, in a loose sense, the movement.' Country Life 'impeccably reproduced illustrations and a distinguished design.' Building Design 'exceptionally well produced, even by Phaidon standards - design and printing are of the highest quality. ... Blakesley is a fluent and engaging writer, with an expressive spark that frequently illuminates the subject matter. ... she has read widely, travelled extensively and knows her source material inside out. Her account of the roots of the Arts and Crafts [...] is first rate. ... As Blakesley hint in a brief afterword, the ideas of these pioneers still resonate in a world dominated by over-production and waste and badly in need of a new philosophy of architecture and design.' Architect's Journal 'enthralling and provocative .. a handsome survey, stuffed with marvelous illustrations ... The greatest pleasure of this well-written book is the ease with which the author links a huge range of phenomena, [...] finding a compelling unity in the ideas behind an enormous diversity in practice.' V&A (Victoria & Albert Museum magazine) 'one of the most thorough surveys of the breadth and impact of the Arts and Crafts. ... Blakesley sets a new benchmark in Arts and Crafts critique with this comprehensive and attractive volume.' Antiques 'nothing short of brilliant ... will probably become the seminal work on the subject.' Artists & Illustrators '[a] magnificent overview' Apollo '[Blakesley's] coverage is wider than anything we have had before ... As well as a kaleidoscope of ideas, Blakesley provides a splendid array of images. It is one of Phaidon's best produced books for some time.' The Architectural Review 'a fascinating - and pretty definitive - survey ... beautifully illustrated' The Independent '...Unlike many other books covering the subject, hers goes beyond discussing its origin and development in Victorian England.' American Craft 'In this beautifully illustrated survey, the arts and crafts movement is interpreted more broadly than usual...this book offers much to consider and enjoy.' Interior Design 'Photographs luxuriate in a glorious open design, beautifully printed on thick rich paper, creating a feast for the eyes.' Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (March 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714849677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714849676
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 1.1 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #881,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Ever since I was first exposed to it in class my first year of college (in the mid-'60s), I've been a fan of the Arts and Crafts Movement, William Morris, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Pre-Raphaelites (especially Burne-Jones and Rossetti), and also of Frank Lloyd Wright, who got his start in Arts and Crafts, and Art Nouveau, which largely grew out of it. A topic like this, of course, needs great visuals and the publisher certainly supplies them in this thick, oversized volume. Beginning with William Morris's upbringing and later career, the author traces both the artistic and the commercial threads of the Movement, following them then to the Continent -- even to places you might not think to look, like Hungary and Poland and Finland. Arts and Crafts in the United States didn't balk at commercialism, as its practioners sometimes did in Britain, and some of the most attractive homes designed and built between the turn of the 20th century and Great War still stand in Chicago and Buffalo and Pasadena. While the architectural emphasis was always on living space, there were also more than a few Arts and Crafts churches and public buildings. (I remember a freshman field trip to the amazing First Church of Christ Scientist in Berkeley.) Besides architecture, though, there was also some beautiful pottery produced in the U.S., such as the Southern-themed vases turned out by women's vocational classes at Sophie Newcomb in New Orleans. (Wish I could afford to own some of those.) The author's text is smooth and informative, but I admit I like to just sit and turn the pages and drink in the illustrations. A thoroughly gorgeous book. Wear a bib so you don't leave drool marks.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Theseus on March 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Stunning. Stunning. Stunning.

Not just a coffee table book. It is large enough to be weighty but not so huge that it isn't useable.

Smartly-written and scholarly: 272 pp; over 325 color illustations; blind-stamped paper over boards with a sewn binding; extra-heavy dustjacket. 6 pages of chronologies, End Notes, 6 p bibliography, index.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MMF on February 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It has been a challenge to find a book I could use as a good overview text for the Arts and Crafts Movement. Here it is. The visuals are very good and the explanations of the artists, artworks and the philosophies at play during this period are all here, clearly explained. There are a lot of books out there on the Arts and Crafts Movement and frankly some of them are just weird. This book is solid.
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By wendy forward on December 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A beaufiful, profusely illustrated and well written study of the Arts and Crafts movement in many countries. This is a really high-quality book that would make a great gift for any art lover.
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