Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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The Rise of Everyday Design:
The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and America
February 9–July 14, 2019

See more than 200 items including books, drawings, furniture, decorative arts objects, photographs, and flyers, broadsides and advertising ephemera that offer a new and detailed look at the history of the Arts and Crafts movement.

The Arts and Crafts movement occupied a central place in discussions about modern life in Britain and America from the late 1840s to the early 1920s and beyond. Arts and Crafts reformers were concerned with the daily realities of the industrial age, and used design to envision and promote a new and improved way of living.

Discover how theorists and makers—like John Ruskin and William Morris (along with lesser known figures like Lucy Crane) in Britain and Candace Wheeler, Alice and Elbert Hubbard, and Gustav Stickley in America—spread their ideas through books, retail showrooms, and world's fairs, and how Arts and Crafts objects, which were originally handmade and costly, came to be manufactured and sold to the everyday consumer.

Items on display from the Ransom Center's collections will include hand-drawn designs and sketches by Ruskin and Morris, a first edition copy of Owen Jones's Grammar of Ornament, books and marketing materials of the Kelmscott and Roycroft presses, stained glass designs by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones, and plates from Frank Lloyd Wright's Wasmuth portfolio. These items will be paired with photographs, furniture, and decorative arts objects from the University's Alexander Architectural Archives, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and private collections.

Opening on the 200th anniversary of John Ruskin's birth, the exhibition will show how the Arts and Crafts idea made its way into everyday homes, transforming the lives of ordinary people in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and remaining influential to this day. A companion volume, edited by exhibition curators Monica Penick and Christopher Long and published by Yale University Press in association with the Ransom Center, offers a new understanding of the Arts and Crafts idea, its geographical reach, and its translation into everyday taste.

Curator Tour of The Rise of Everyday Design: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and America TOUR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 7 P.M.


Discover the origins of the Arts and Crafts design movement with curator Chris Long, Professor of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin. Visitors will be guided through The Rise of Everyday Design: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and America, describing how the Arts and Crafts aesthetic evolved and how cross-cultural connections developed across the Atlantic.

What can a woman do? Women in the Arts and Crafts Movement LECTURE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27, 7 P.M.


What was the role of women designers in the Anglo/American Arts and Crafts movement? Wendy Kaplan, curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, will focus on women's leadership in social and economic reform, as well as the restrictions on full participation. While we consider education and career choices to be fundamental rights for women just over a hundred years ago, these were mostly utopian dreams. Discover how social reformers, advocates of women's rights, and followers of the Arts and Crafts movement addressed the question of work for women designers and craftspeople toward the end of the nineteenth century.

The Art of the Craftsman Style
Preservation Austin's 27th Annual Homes Tour TOUR SATURDAY, APRIL 27 10 A.M.–4 P.M.

Texas Society of Architects Building, 500 Chicon

Preservation Austin's 2019 Homes Tour celebrates seven stunning Craftsman style homes in coordination with The Rise of Everyday Design: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and America. Their histories give a glimpse of Craftsman style living in the early twentieth century. Creative updates and additions show their seamless adaptation to modern life today. Ransom Center members receive discount pricing. Tickets on sale now.



Lucifer Lighting Company

Dr. Ray and Leah Greenberg

Media Contacts for members of the press

Jennifer Tisdale




Enamel Pin

Enamel Pin


Wall Street Journal
High Craft for Everyone

Wall Street Journal

Useful, Beautiful