C.R. Ashbee: Architect, Designer, and Romantic Socialist

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9780300034677: C.R. Ashbee: Architect, Designer, and Romantic Socialist
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Charles Robert Ashbee—architect, designer, social reformer, and a major force behind the Arts and Crafts Movement—was one of the most significant figures in British artistic and cultural life at the turn of the century. Inspired by the Romantic anti-industrialism of John Ruskin and William Morris, Ashbee started a small craft workshop in the East End of London in 1888 called the Guild of Handicraft. He not only made it a place where work could be satisfying and creative, but in 1902 boldly moved the Guild’s workshops out to the idyllic Cotswold town of Chipping Campden. Utilizing the often vivid journals kept by Ashbee and his wife, Janet, the book documents Ashbee’s life and work, the story of the Guild, and the part Ashbee played in a wide range of reform movements.

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About the Author:

Alan Crawford is a freelance writer.

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Charles Ashbee believed that in a modern industrialized society every person must be an artist or else be reduced to a mechanical drudge. Guided by the Romantic ideals of Ruskin and Morris, he founded the Guild of Handicraft workshop in London in the 1880s; its crafts and plays, Wednesday suppers and river trips celebrated worker solidarity and the closeness of art to life. An architect, town planner, silversmith and social reformer, this Arts and Crafts pioneer created Chelsea townhouses with clever brick facades; he restored cottages, published fine editions of Erasmus and prayer books, and designed colorful necklaces modeled on Renaissance jewelry. While Ashbee's attempts to curtail the use of machinery and to promote craft guilds now seem quixotic, his versatile output was inspirational. In 1919 he traveled to Jerusalem at age 56 to repair the bazaars and build new city walls. More than 200 illustrations (20 in color) enliven a workmanlike biography. January 15
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780300109399: C. R. Ashbee: Architect, Designer, and Romantic Socialist

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ISBN 10:  0300109393 ISBN 13:  9780300109399
Publisher: Yale University Press, 2005
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