V&A to show how Morris and Ruskin inspired world's artists

After blockbuster art deco and art nouveau shows, the Victoria & Albert museum in London is to stage the country's most comprehensive exhibition on the Arts and Crafts movement started by John Ruskin and William Morris.

After blockbuster art deco and art nouveau shows, the Victoria & Albert museum in London is to stage the country's most comprehensive exhibition on the Arts and Crafts movement started by John Ruskin and William Morris.

The exhibition will not just concentrate on British Arts and Crafts, but also show how the style was reinterpreted in countries from America to Japan as the first British design movement to become a worldwide phenomenon.

Next year's display will feature more than 300 Arts and Crafts objects, from simple folk craft to sophisticated objects made for wealthy patrons, all inspired by the movement's founding principles of integrating art into everyday life and raising the status of the craftsman. It also advocated social reform through improved workshop conditions and a return to a simpler way of life.

Announcing plans for the exhibition yesterday, Mark Jones, the V&A's director, said that it was a movement that had proved important in the development of modernism. He added: "It resonates with a lot of contemporary concerns about the way in which things are made, about the ethics of production and the relationship between the maker and the consumer."

The Arts and Crafts movement flourished in Britain in the 1880s, promoted by Ruskin, the great Victorian thinker and writer, and Morris, a craftsman and designer renowned for his inspiration from nature, as most clearly demonstrated in the Red House, his home in south-east London.

But while the notion of a simple country life was one example of the Arts and Crafts ideal, espoused by communities established in places such as the Cotswolds and the Lake District, the movement also had a strong urban base and aimed to influence industrial design and manufacture.

Its ideas spread to America from 1890 to 1916, and continental Europe and Scandinavia between about 1880 and 1914, before its final manifestation in the Mingei (Folk Craft) movement in Japan between 1926 and 1945, where the British potter Bernard Leach was a key figure.

In one of the expected highlights of the exhibition, four rooms will be recreated in the museum to illustrate the way different countries interpreted the Arts and Crafts ideals.

Two of the rooms will show the contrasting urban and rural interpretations in Britain, another will focus on America and the final room will recreate a Japanese Arts and Crafts pavilion that had until recently been thought demolished. When Karen Livingstone and Rupert Faulkner, both V&A curators, went to Japan to research next year's exhibition, they discovered that an architectural historian, Dr Tomoo Kawashima, had rediscovered the original building, and its contents were intact in a museum in Kyoto.

Ms Livingstone said: "It was a complete revelation of what the Japanese Folk Craft movement was. When we discovered that so many of the objects had survived, we knew then that we could do a really accurate reconstruction of this important Mingei room."

The Arts and Crafts show will run from 17 March to 24 July and will then tour abroad, as did the earlier Art Deco and Art Nouveau exhibitions, which were eventually seen by about a million visitors.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Graduate Software Developer / Junior Developer

£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...

Recruitment Genius: Delegate Telesales Executive - OTE £21,000 uncapped

£16000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: High quality, dedicated Delegat...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Consultant - School Playground Designer

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Traffic Planner

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As the successful candidate you...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor