The 19th Century Aesthetic Movement Essay

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The 19th Century Aesthetic Movement The Arts and Crafts Movement is the main line of reform design in the 19th century that defines the period of its greatest development, roughly between 1875-1920. The Aesthetic Movement and Art Nouveau, whose roots were in the reaction to the Industrial Revolution in England in the middle of the 19th century, are the two major stylistic developments of this Movement’s philosophy (A Thing of Beauty 9). The term "Aesthetic Movement" refers to the introduction of principles that emphasized art in the production of furniture, metalwork, ceramics, stained glass, textiles, wallpapers, and books. The catalyst for its widespread popularity was the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876. There, in…show more content…
The costs of these social transformations were the subjects of impassioned debate, in the aesthetic realm as well as elsewhere (Bolger Burke et al. 25). At first English designers and manufacturers followed the pattern of conscious imitation established on the continent. Apart from prints, free use was also made of Japanese cloisonné wear, ivories, bronzes, lacquer and textiles. However it was not long before a distinctly English brand of Japonisme began to appear. English potters in particular were well accustomed to the decorative principles of oriental design and so began almost immediately to turn the pure European form of Japonisme into an essentially decorative up date of 18th century chinoiserie (Klein 10). Thus the speed with which Japanese styles were accepted in England as a result of a well-established decorative oriental tradition blurred the boundaries between Japanese and Chinese arts as styles became quite increasingly oriental. But it remained primarily an expression of British culture. Out of the Aesthetic Movement came new ideas and shapes that looked towards the 20th century. The study of Japanese principles of design brought varying results; many of the large commercial firms like Wedgwood, Copeland, Worcester and Minton were interested in the foreign influences merely for their fashionable decorative values; they were satisfying the appetites of a mass market, albeit with fine workmanship and design. But
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