Arts and Crafts are one of the many expressions and developments that took place during the Renaissance Period. The underlying core characteristics of this Arts and Crafts movement are an intense belief in the innate aesthetic beauty of everyday material, an appreciation of nature as a source and inspiration, and an appreciation of simplicity, practicality, and beauty. The term “arts and crafts” really only became common during the 18th century, although it had been around for much longer. Regardless, this term didn’t gain mass popularity until the French Revolution and the advent of Napoleonic rule. The term has since become much more generalized.
In the first part of this article we will examine how the ancients viewed their materials, how creative activity itself was defined by the ancients, and how the Arts and Crafts Movement arose in the first part of the sixteenth century. In the second part we will examine how the ancients believed their objects to be valuable. In the third part we will examine how the ancients believed their crafts and arts to be a representation of societal power, how crafts served as a form of expression, how crafts influenced politics, and how craftsmen were influential in the development of modern art and architecture.
The first important concept of this Arts and Crafts Movement was the belief that all things are created out of living things. The idea was that all humans were part of a powerful and interwoven web of life. Therefore, all people, regardless of gender, race, or nationality were considered to be part of one body. This view is sometimes referred to as the Natural Hypothesis because it posits the existence of a vast natural network of interconnected lines and energy that connect all human beings, all matter, all of which are perpetually connected with one another.
The second central concept of the Arts and Crafts Movement was that work and leisure were intrinsically linked. The ancients believed that human beings were part of a dynamic ebb and flow of life and activity that were supported by the earth and its natural forces. To this end, many of the works of ancient craftsmen were designed to support the vitality of this movement. For instance, the gladiator statues of the Roman and Greek empires were constructed to keep the soldiers in perfect physical shape.
The third core concept of this movement was that art and creative expression were the key to understanding and preserving the unique culture and heritage of humanity. This movement was extremely influential in the north America region in the latter part of the th century. The proponents of this belief included such notable figures as Benjamin Franklin, Sir Richard Francis Burton, John Paul Jones, Robert Frost, Teddy Roosevelt, and numerous others. North America was the home of many important early American artists including such notable individuals as Jean Baptiste Camille, Arthur Young, Louis Sullivan, and Edward Czarnet.
The Arts and Crafts Movement in the later part of the nineteenth century resulted in the creation of many museums. These were designed to display the extensive range of skills and creations that were produced by the various artists and craftsmen of this era. The nineteenth century is often considered to be an Art Deco Period. In addition to the museums, many individual artistic creations became collectibles in their own right. A number of examples include autographed artwork by artists such as Eugene Degas and John Cage, famous stained glass pieces by Mary Cassatt, reproductions of ancient Egyptian artwork, prints, woodcarvings, metalwork, China, ceramic art, and jewelry.
Today, many people enjoy the resurgence of interest in Arts and Crafts. Part of this revitalization can be attributed to the fact that society has changed over the last century. Many people are now more interested in practical, earth-friendly, items and crafts. People no longer have an interest in being involved with the Arts and Crafts movements of previous generations.
The Arts and Crafts industry, however, are still thriving in many parts of the world. It has recently seen a resurgence of popularity in North America, Europe, Japan, and other countries. In North America, a number of craft fairs and festivals occur each year to bring people together to buy, sell, and trade arts and crafts. On the other hand, Arts and Crafts fairs are often organized by community organizations that promote cooperation among a number of different artistic communities. These events can also serve as a means of introducing people to the talents, skills, and works of other budding artists.