Embroidery of blue bells from the Arts & Crafts movement

Arts and Crafts

One of the most significant design philosophies of modern times, the Arts & Crafts movement flourished in the second half of the nineteenth century. John Ruskin and William Morris created an approach to design and living. This became the Arts & Crafts movement. Their ideals were born from a reaction against the increasing dominance of machines brought about by the industrial revolution. More than a visual style, the movement was a commitment to the handmade in an age of mass production. Each craftsman created each piece by hand to make it beautiful but also useful. Through the Keswick School of Industrial Arts hundreds of local people were trained in metal work, fabric making, woodcarving and other artistic industries.

Some of the pivotal figures in the movement in Lakeland include furniture makers Arthur Simpson and Stanley Webb Davis, while Annie Garnett, and the development of the Langdale Linen Industry created beautiful and unique textiles. You can see examples of the work of these individuals and find out more about this movement in our Arts and Crafts section.

You can also find out more about the Arts and Crafts movements and experience a superb example of Arts & Crafts architecture at our sister site Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts house. Blackwell is situated in Bowness-on-Windermere and was designed in 1898 by Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott (1865-1945), one of the most important and influential architects and designers of the early twentieth century.

Featured Object - Ruskin Lace Bag

Ruskin Lace Bag

Ruskin Lace was a Lake District speciality that developed as part of the Arts and Crafts movement. When Ruskin and his friend Albert Flemming decided that linen production would be a suitable craft to be introduced in Lakeland they ordered a spinning wheel and put Flemming’s housekeeper Marion Twelves to work. Marion developed her skills in linen production and also worked on a unique form of embellishment. Inspired by Greek lace this geometric style of drawn work became known as Ruskin Lace and was displayed and sold at national exhibitions.

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