From Publishers Weekly
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.)
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'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