Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Christopher Dresser's "Studies in Design" (London: Cassell, Peter and Galpin, 1876).

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.