Out of Print
Before there was an Arts and Crafts Movement – before there could be an Arts and Crafts Movement – there was the Aesthetic Movement. “Aesthetics” is the name given to the study of beauty and the nature of the beautiful. Beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century, inspired by the writings of Walter Pater, Baudelaire, Owen Jones (The Grammar of Ornament), John Ruskin (The Two Paths …), and the art of the pre-Raphaelites, English poets, painters, designers and architects began to turn to aesthetic concerns and to place more emphasis on ornament and on the past. The result was the Aesthetic Movement and a new freedom that was exercised by practitioners of the fine and decorative arts. This period of “art for art’s sake” ultimately gave way to the more defining principles of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Students of the Arts and Crafts Movement will recognize many of the players in the Aesthetic Movement: John Ruskin, William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christopher Dresser, James McNeil Whistler, A.H. Mackmurdo, Aubrey Beardsley, and Alphonse Mucha. The author’s witty text and lavish color illustrations will broaden your understanding of arts and crafts in England and America before they became the subject of their own separate movement.