The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, November 23, 2014


Major Art Institute Exhibition Traces the History of the Arts and Crafts Movement
Alfred Steiglitz, American, 1864-1946. The Net Mender, 1894. Carbon print, Alfred Stieglitz Collection.
CHICAGO, IL.- The Art Institute of Chicago has organized a major exhibition that, for the first time, traces the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain through its manifestation in Chicago. Apostles of Beauty: Arts and Crafts from Britain to Chicago, on view from November 7, 2009 to January 31, 2010, presents nearly 190 outstanding examples by the movement’s British originators, such as William Morris, Elbert Hubbard, and Charles Robert Ashbee, as well as its greatest American practitioners, including Gustav Stickley and Frank Lloyd Wright. The exhibition highlights a wide range of objects that encompasses ceramics, furniture, metalwork, paintings, photographs, and textiles. With a strong emphasis on Chicago’s absorption and interpretation of the movement, Apostles of Beauty draws deep on Chicago’s rich collections of Arts and Crafts objects, featuring works culled from the University of Chicago, the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Crab Tree Farm, private collections, and the Art Institute’s own superb permanent collection. This is the first Arts and Crafts exhibition mounted at the Art Institute in more than three decades.

“Chicago, as the home of such architects and designers as Frank Lloyd Wright, is justly proud of its contributions to one of the most politically progressive and aesthetically compelling artistic movements of modern times,” said Judith Barter, curator of the exhibition and Field-McCormick Chair of American Art at the Art Institute. “Apostles of Beauty is intended to place the work of such figures in the full philosophical, political, and artistic context of the Arts and Crafts movement as it developed in Britain, tracing direct links across the Atlantic to the flowering of Arts and Crafts in the East and West Coasts, and specifically in Chicago. No other city has such a wealth of art from this period, and we are pleased to exhibit here works from private collections rarely shown before that show the reach, depth, and aspirations of the movement.”

Apostles of Beauty traces the history of the Arts and Crafts movement through its complex stylistic and philosophical influences. The exhibition begins with an exploration of the movement’s early roots in Britain, particularly the impact of designer William Morris and his circle on the subsequent generation of architects and designers, and examines the phenomenon of “Japanism” in both British and American design. As the exhibition develops the history of the movement, it also importantly delineates how the style moved from the artist’s workshop to the consumer’s home, particularly through the popularization of the style via specialized periodicals, also on view here. Turning to the relationship between the movement’s philosophies and pictorialist photography, the exhibition extends the reach of Arts and Crafts beyond domestic design to progressive movements in other media. Finally, the exhibition outlines Chicago’s early acceptance of the British model and its later role in uniting hand and machine in the service of beauty.

The Arts and Crafts movement began in Victorian England, the cradle of the industrial revolution, the heart of mechanization, and, at the time, the epitome of capitalist thinking. Rebelling against the cheap, mass-produced object populating the homes of the middle classes, the originators of the Arts and Crafts movement stressed anti-industrialism, the elevation of the individual worker, the belief in rewarding labor and the handmade object, and the ability of a beautiful and well designed environment to provide moral uplift. The movement was both a philosophy and a style that permeated domestic interiors, including decorative arts and furniture, painting, and textiles. Particularly in Britain, the movement critiqued the values of Victorian society and its increasingly rigid class structure and exploitation of the laboring classes.

The socially progressive ambitions of the Arts and Crafts movement were accompanied by a new aesthetic focus that sought to integrate art into daily life. In their rejection of the current industrialist ethos, theorists and designers looked to the pre-industrial medieval past, the natural world, and non-western (particularly Japanese) culture for aesthetic inspiration. The forms of Arts and Crafts objects are varied and organic, and rooted in an integrity of materials and straightforward construction. As the movement developed, and certainly by the time it began to flower in the United States in the 1890s, it reached a rapprochement with industrial culture, recognizing that fully handmade materials were expensive and time-consuming to produce and instead opting to retain the look and spirit of handcraft while attempting broader production.

The movement had special resonance in Chicago, one of the most industrial of American cities at the turn of the 20th century. It was well suited to Chicago’s established reform movement, exemplified by Jane Addams and the Hull House. There immigrants and women received training in handicraft skills not only to beautify domestic life but also to provide them with viable, honorable work. As a result, Chicago is seen as one of the most important centers of the Arts and Crafts movement in the United States: by the 1890s, the city was home to a wide range of people and organizations committed to progressive beliefs—from Addams to John Dewey—and to reshaping the social order. The union of the movement with the machine aesthetic of Chicago launched the beginning of modern design in the city.

Apostles of Beauty offers one of the most comprehensive presentations of the Arts and Crafts movement ever mounted, due to the depth of local and private collections in the greater Chicago area. The exhibition, which can only be seen at the Art Institute, allows visitors the rare opportunity to see the movement unfold in the city where it reached its full manifestation and where many of its treasures still reside.


The Art Institute of Chicago | Arts and Crafts Movement | William Morris | Elbert Hubbard | Charles Robert Ashbee | Judith Barter |




Today's News

November 7, 2009

Sotheby's Presents Lord Attenborough's Superb Cross-Section of British Art

New Zealanders have the Chance to See Preview of Robertson Gift

Medieval Works from Court of Burgundy to Leave France for First and Only Tour

Decorative Art Treasures at Christie's New York in November

MoMA to Present Fourth Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You

Wadsworth Exhibition to Reunite Long-Separated Paintings

Vehbi Koc Foundation Funds New Galleries for Ottoman Art at Metropolitan Museum

Fashion House Salvatore Ferragamo's Museum Goes Online

MCA Chicago Exhibition Places Works of Art in Unexpected Locations

Major Art Institute Exhibition Traces the History of the Arts and Crafts Movement

Royal Collection Publications Appoints New US Distributor

Tate Liverpool Announces Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic

IMMA to Hold Forum on Amalgamation Announced by the Government

Walker Art Center Presents the 2009 British Television Advertising Awards

World War II Museum Adds Theater, Restaurant and "Canteen"

Start of Donald Judd Catalogue Raisonné Announced

Merseyside Maritime Museum to Show the Vanished World of Imperial China

Major Exhibition Celebrates the Bicentenary of the Artist Paul Sandby

New Zealand Lawmaker Sculpted in Cow Manure

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Greece holds breath as skeleton found in Alexander the Great-era tomb at Amphipolis

2.- Spain mourns the death of art collector Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba

3.- Meet the ancestors: Exhibition at Bordeaux gallery reveals faces of prehistoric humans

4.- Getty Foundation and partners launch free of charge online art collection catalogues

5.- Historic photos of dead Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara resurface in small Spanish town

6.- Exhibition showcases the first two 'Poesie' created by Titian following their restoration

7.- O'Keeffe painting sells for more than three times the previous world auction record for any female artist

8.- Crystal Bridges announces the departure of museum President Don Bacigalupi

9.- artnet Auctions offers a later example of Yayoi Kusama's important Infinity-Nets series

10.- 'Degenerate art' should go back to museums: German advisor Jutta Limbach

Related Stories



Art Institute Announces Major Long-Term Loan of Ancient Near Eastern Statuette

Art Institute Showcases Innovative Projects Linking Architecture and Design Practices

Art Institute of Chicago Launches French Impressionist Mobile App

Works by "New Topographics" Pioneer on View at the Art Institute

Jitish Kallat to Present Provocative Work of Art on Art Institute's Grand Staircase

Exhibition Celebrates Chicago Collectors' 50 Extraordinary Gifts

LeRoy and Janet Neiman Donate $1 Million to Establish Scholarship Fund at Ox-Bow

Art Institute Exhibition Reveals Facets of Louis Sullivan's Architecture

Art Institute of Chicago's Modern Wing Awarded Silver LEED Certification

Miniature Rooms Create Magic at the Art Institute of Chicago



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site