Posts Tagged 'Arts and Crafts'

Beauty For Beauty’s Sake????

Since when did the misconception come about that all art must have some hidden meaning, or have an in-depth representation of an object? Why can’t art any longer just be an object of beauty for beauty’s sake?

By John Seymour  wrote: “Before the Industrial Revolution every object made by man or woman was decorated fittingly and beautifully. In fact, the pre-industrial scientist would have found it hateful to work with apparatus unembellished by the work of the artist. Can you imagine a modern-day chemist asking a glass engraver to cut beautiful designs upon his test tubes?

Farm machinery was one of the last classes of object to surrender to pure utilitarianism. Up until the 1950’s farm machinery, even that designed to be pulled by tractors, was painted in the factory with panels and scrolls. Carts and wagons had chamfering carved on all their timbers, often skillfully “lined-out” in paint by the wainwright, and beautiful “fiddle-heads” were carved on projecting timbers.

Today, no tractor manufacturer would consider doing such a thing. Objects manufactured for domestic use have suffered similarily but the living tradition of the decorative arts has not died out entirely and there is a growing number of craftspeople who are trying to revive the art of true decoration.” The Forgotten Arts & Crafts – skills from Bygone Days By John Seymour 

I’m not saying we should decorate to that extreme, I am just fed up with people always believing there is some second or third meaning behind art/decoration rather than just appreciating it for what it is.


Some more Ruskin quotes

Your all probably wondering why I’ve posted so many John Ruskin and William Morris quotes. Well I’ve been writing an essay on Industrialisation and there the key members of the time who saw what was happening to society. They were the founders of the Arts and Crafts movement and I’ve become quite attached to them I suppose. If you are interested I’ll be happy to post a few chapters of the essay….. just let me know. 

Anyway here are the quotes:

John Ruskin:

“Do what you can, and confess frankly what you are unable to do; neither let your effort be shortened for fear of failure, nor your confession silenced for fear of shame.”


 ” Imperfection is in some way sort of essential to all that we know of life. It is the sign of life in a mortal body, that is to say, of a state of progress and change. Nothing that lives is, or can be, rigidly perfect; part of it is decaying, part nascent…. And in all things that live there are certain irregularities and deficiencies which are not only signs of life, but sources of beauty…. To banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyse vitality. All things are literally better, lovelier, and more beloved for the imperfections which have been divinely appointed, that the law of human life may be Effort, and the law of human judgment, Mercy.”