Arts and Crafts (late 19th to early 20th century)


Arts and Crafts stems from a philosophy founded in England in the late 19th century that continued into the early 20th century, which was a reaction against the mechanization taking place in Victorian decorative design.  Its goal was to return to simpler designs executed by the hands of skilled craftsmen, ideally passing through one pair of hands from start to finish.  Arts and Crafts jewelers often chose to use less precious materials such as brass, copper, aluminum, and silver.  Some Arts and Crafts jewelry employing the colors green, white and purple (violet) have been associated with the suffragette movement, as these were the colors of the WSPU (Women’s Social and Political Union) who fought for the vote for women at the turn of the last century in England (Green, White, Violet – Give Women the Vote).  This philosophy also spread to America, the most notable American Arts and Crafts designer being Gustav Stickley who produced furniture.