Seminar: William Morris and the Arts and Craft Movement

Ref: C3744620

William Morris was a key designer, writer and activist in the late nineteenth century. We will look at the development of his work in the context of the general movement for design reform at the time, consider his main influences, and explore the significance of his ideas both in theory and in practice. Inspired by Morris’s ideas and those of figures such as A. W. N. Pugin and John Ruskin, the arts and crafts movement developed in part as a reaction to the increasing industrialisation of production. We will explore the main characteristics of arts and crafts products and the importance of social ideas and attitudes to the movement, and consider to what extent it achieved its objectives.

Additional information about this course

This course is not supported by the Education Skills Funding Agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available - contact the Branch for further details.

Course aim

To outline the ideas of William Morris and those behind the arts and crafts movement, and to consider their importance for design in late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Britain.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Place the design ideas of Morris and other arts and crafts practitioners in their broader historical context.
  • Critically examine and discuss examples of objects designed by Morris or members of the arts and crafts movement.
  • Explain some of the key social ideas involved and how they were manifested in the work produced.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • There will be informal verbal feedback as appropriate

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No preparatory reading is required, but some suggestions for general reading include: Snodin and Styles (ed), 'Design and the Decorative Arts: Victorian Britain, 1837-1901'; Fiona MacCarthy, 'Anarchy and Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy, 1860-1960'.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

Seminar: William Morris and the Arts and Craft Movement

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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