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The Arts and Crafts Movement

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

Charles Robert Ashbee was a prime mover of the Arts and Crafts Movement which lasted from around 1880 until 1920, shortly after the First World War.

The Arts and Crafts Movement was the defining design movement of the past few centuries. Worries from industrialisation in regards to the impacts on design prompted individuals involved in the movement to reach a much wider global audience. Hence, architects, painters, sculptors and designers, began spreading the movement with the emergence of Art schools and technical colleges throughout the 20th century. The idea of teaching arts and crafts became the norm, paving way for a modern arts and crafts culture.

Charles Robert Ashbee, Cambridge educated, and starting his career as an architect, founded the original Guilds of Handicraft, first in East London and then in Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire.

In the modern day, arts and crafts organisations run after being loosely modelled on Ashbee’s Guilds of Handicraft, such as the Birmingham Guild of Handicraft. Ashbee went on to design some of the most notable works of the Guild, metal work and jewellery. Much of Ashbee’s beautiful work is still internationally admired today, and his handcrafted pieces are star lots among the auction world.

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