The Rise of Everyday Design The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and America Monica Penick, Christopher Long, Eric Anderson, Samuel Dodd, Carma Gorman, Willa Granger, Thomas A. Guiler, Rebecca J. Keyel, Anna Nau

Publication date:
19 Feb 2019
Yale University Press
256 pages: 279 x 229mm
210 color illus.


A fresh look at the Arts and Crafts Movement, charting its origins in reformist ideals, its engagement with commercial culture, and its ultimate place in everyday households 

In its spread from Britain to the United States, the Arts and Crafts Movement evolved from its roots in individual craftsmanship to a mainstream trend increasingly adapted for mass production by American retailers. Inspired by John Ruskin in Britain in the 1840s in response to what he saw as the corrosive forces of industrialization, the movement was profoundly transformed as its tenets of simple design, honest use of materials, and social value of handmade goods were widely adopted and commodified by companies like Sears, Roebuck and Co. 

The movement grew popular in early 20th-century America, where it was stripped of its reformist ideals by large-scale manufacturing and merchandising through department stores and mail-order catalogues. This beautiful book is illustrated with stunning furniture and designs by William Morris, Gustav Stickley, and Elbert Hubbard’s Roycroft community, among many others, along with such ephemera as the catalogues, sales brochures, and magazine spreads that generated popular interest. This perspective offers a new understanding of the Arts and Crafts idea, its geographical reach, and its translation into everyday design. 

Monica Penick is associate professor in the Department of Design at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Design and Creative Technologies. Christopher Long is professor and chair of history and theory at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture.

“an invaluable catalog.”—Edward Rothstein, Wall Street Journal

“[The book] serves as both an introductory text and, for those well-read on the movement, one offering new dimensions to this vast subject”— Roger Dunn, Art Newspaper

“This book is the catalogue of an exhibition at the Harry Ransom Center, a great repository, likened to ‘an old attic filled with the most wondrous things’, at the University of Texas in Austin. It starts with the British origins of the Arts-and-Crafts movement, but the greater part describes its (to British readers) less familiar flourishing in the USA.”—CountryLife

“Clarity and insight define this collection.”—B.L. Herman, University of North Carolina