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The Crafts in Britain in the Twentieth Century [Hardcover]

Tanya Harrod
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 55.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Feb 1999
From ceramics to silversmithing, calligraphy to textiles, hot glass to bookbinding, crafts have played a rich and complex role in the social, cultural, and artistic history of twentieth-century Britain. This all-encompassing book is the first to survey the full range of individual craft disciplines and key practitioners from the pre-World War I years of the Arts and Crafts Movement to the 1990s. Tanya Harrod shows how the crafts movement emerged in response to generalized anxiety about the production, commodification, and consumption of objects in a highly industrialized society. Caught between the more powerful disciplines of fine art, architecture, and design for industry, crafts have defined and redefined themselves throughout the century.The book begins with the craft revival of the early 1900s, tracing the complex legacy of John Ruskin and William Morris. The author then discusses how the Arts and Crafts Movement was forced to reexamine its aims during the Great War; how the development of the crafts was closely connected to the development of modernism between the wars; and how during World War II the idea of the handmade, often in the form of vernacular craft discovered in remote pockets of England, played a significant part in propagandizing a national culture worth defending. The book also explores the postwar beginnings of a countercultural workshop-based craft movement led by Bernard Leach and the continuing redefinition of crafts as the government-funded Crafts Council pushed them toward the fine arts and then the government attempted in the 1980s to recast them as exemplars of enterprise culture. Harrod describes the increasingly blurred division between craft and designfor mass production at the conclusion of the book. Along with historians, educators, artists, craftspersons, and collectors, readers with an interest in British cultural history will find in this book much to delight and fascinate.This book accompanies an exhibition of British crafts, "The Pleasures of Peace: Craft, Art and Design in Britain from the 1940s to the 1960s", that will open at the Sainsbury Centre at the University of East Anglia in spring 1999.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1st ed edition (4 Feb 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300077807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300077803
  • Product Dimensions: 32 x 25.8 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 278,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Publisher

Review
'This book is a monumental achievement. Scholarly, readable, large and lavish - a credit to both author and publisher.' - Luke Hughes - British Art Journal

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply a must have book 26 Feb 2010
Format:Hardcover
I am surprised to be the first to review this superb book. If you have any interest in the crafts in Britain at all you simply must have this book on the shelf. Scholarly yet readable. Online it may look expensive but in a bookshop it would look very reasonable, it is a huge and gorgeous volume, printed on heavy quality paper. My copy is rarely on the shelf for long and is well thumbed.
For those that practice craft whether you are at the fine art or the traditional craft end of the spectrum it sets your practice in context as well as being full of wonderful stories of real people, their passion and their work. I heartily recommend you click the buy button you will not regret it.
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