How Were Women Affected By The Arts And Craft Movement

How Were Women Affected By The Arts And Craft Movement?


Why not share this post!

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    How Were Women Affected By The Arts And Craft Movement? A significant role is played by women in the Art and Craft movement. Mostly, economic and social reforms are male-oriented and lead by them. It is vital to understand that despite the leadership, the division of labor based on gender overcame. Since the 19th century, Art and Craft movements typically engage men in metalwork, carpentry, and printing work while women in textile work, china painting, and jewelry making. 

    As in a single craft, the division of labor is determined based on gender. So, women and men perform different functions and play their roles in accomplishing the same task. As in the arts and crafts movement, if women designed the metal, men hammered it. If women adorned pottery, men would be busy throwing out the clay. Of course, there are always some exceptions I-e, some women had their own textile company, threw and decorated their pots, and engaged in both furniture making and metal and leatherwork. 

    Between the 18th and 19th centuries, many arts and crafts organizations were founded by women, like “artistic craft” and “home industries” for the welfare of women. And women remain champions in social reforms as well as in crafts in the services of philanthropy. Women focus on the continuation of traditional handicraft work and optimize in this sector instead of factory production. And thought that by reviving the traditions of handcrafting, they would achieve more rewards. 

    The “artistic craft” established for the benefit of women aims to give young college women an opportunity to create their independent living. The artistic craft mainly manufactures high-quality ceramic that reflects the local geography. 

    Home industries established for women’s welfare aim to protect women from factory work and avoid extreme poverty. In-home sectors, the women who are specialized in designing and economically privileged trained and give instructions to the rural and immigrants women to provide the opportunity to earn their living and to revive the traditional weaving work 

    The Empowerment Of Women In The Arts And Crafts Movement

    As the industrialization of America was occurring, women took on more roles during this time. Many women who were previously homemakers as well as those who were engaged in the arts and crafts movement took matters into their own hands to improve life for themselves and other women. These women often assumed male identities, such as using masculine nicknames and dressing like men where they could learn man trades. They also fought for suffrage and equality during this time period.

    After the Industrial Revolution, when machines were taking over many jobs such as weaving and shaping wood, artisans had to find new ways to make a living. This is when women began teaching each other what they knew about their trade skill. Many of these women were engaged in arts and crafts, which was very popular at the time. Arts and crafts brought women together because they could sell their goods through home parties, craft fairs, exhibitions, or other small venues. Women often worked to make money for their family or even themselves by selling their handicrafts produced by themselves.

    They Often Cross-dressed And Took On Male Identities

    Women in the art and craft movement had to teach themselves how to produce crafts because of the industrial revolution. The empowerment of women in the art and craft movement is something that should be acknowledged because it was very difficult for women at this time to find ways to make a living so they had to open up their hobby and share what they knew with other women. They often cross-dressed and took on male identities in order to gain access to various craft guilds, where they could study what was traditionally considered masculine work.

    How Were Women Affected By The Arts And Craft Movement?

    The Arts and Crafts movement elevates craft status and provides equal opportunities to grow as sculpting and painting. The arts and crafts period art emphasizes polishing traditional women’s skills, such as in needlework, and professionalizing them in crafting.

    The women of Britain and America gain more opportunities and benefit from the arts and crafts movement because of greater fluidity in their society. But women still have to compete with the old belief that the place of the women is in home and the firm belief that women could only be made apparent success in the areas that are similar with the domestic activities and sphere. 

    Moreover, the women were dominated in the places like Deerfield, Ohio, Cincinnati, and Massachusetts and remained leaders and practitioners in the crafts. The more significant number of actions related to craft dealt by the women such as needlework, rug making, pottery decoration, weaving, and basket making.

    Arts and Crafts Movement

    The Arts and Craft emphasize making simple products that were manufactured using special craft techniques. Individuals and small groups manufactured these simple products on a small business level rather than on mass production. 

    The main focus of this art and craft movement was to revive and continue the traditional simple and magnificent craft methods. The products manufactured under the influence of the arts and crafts movement include the products made by ornamental objects, ceramics and metalwork, weaving, bookmaking, and enameling, etc. 

    A poet and artist named William Morris (1834-1896). He promoted the combination of good craftwork and simplicity that create good designs. He believed that the products manufactured in the industries lacked the honesty of traditional skills. William’s ideas were also supported by an artist and social intellectual named John Ruskin (1819-1900). As this idea of art and craft being influenced greatly and admired by the people, many furniture, architectures, and interior designers approach the craftwork and its simplicity 

    The Arts and crafts movement was further influenced by the social and economic reforms and acted as a rebellion against the industrialized age. A significant number of associations came into existence to promote and support art and craftwork. Arts and Crafts Exhibition society came up to encourage fabrics, furniture, embroidery, and upholstery work. Another association, The Guild of Handicraft formed to support arts and crafts period art

    The main reason to promote the Arts and Crafts movement was to make the ‘man’ creative and enhance his craft skills in the designing and manufacturing process. Because it is believed that the industrial age made men less creative and removed their traditional craft skills. The aim is to make the craft skills and good simple design the center of the manufacturing process. 

    The Arts and Crafts movement characteristics also influence other art movements that promote simplicity and sound design, like Bauhaus and Modernism movements.  This movement believes that a product should be looking more simple and pleasant and could be afforded by the local people. It emphasizes that the product’s design is also enjoyed equally as its functional application. 

    Where Did the Arts And Crafts Movement Take Place?

    The beginning of the Arts and Craft movement was in the 19th century that brought the change in the values of a society that how things will be manufactured. This movement was not only against industrialization but also to improve the low status of decorative arts. The arts and crafts movement incredibly in all manufacturing areas and made considerable reforms in the manufacturing of buildings and designing and making jewelry. 

    During the 1840s, mass production and industrialization caused damage to both the social reforms and the quality and design of the products. But these problems were resolved in the 1860s and 1870s by approaching many new techniques that improve the quality of manufacturing products. The art and crafts movement in Britain develops an understanding that products need to be manufactured in a humanized way. The priority should be in making quality products rather than making large amounts of products. And society should adopt good crafting skills to make more sustainable products with good quality that have traditional values and simplicity. 

    19th Century Arts and Crafts Movement

    In the US, the Arts and Crafts movement was known widely in the late 19th century. It was first adopted in Boston and then became popular in the country. The influence made the churches, chapels, and many houses of the Arts and Crafts movement. New England adopted the Shingle style while the Spanish missions of California influenced Asians, the West Coast leans towards stone foundations. The Arts and Crafts movement consolidated with the Bungalow architecture and Prairie style in the midwest. Moreover, the Frank Lloyd Wright Home is the most significant example of the Arts and Crafts training in Chicago. 

    Many houses that exhibit arts and crafts movement characteristics have some common traits that include:

    • Simplicity: In houses, the intricate patterns are not encouraged, having smooth surfaces and open floors 
    • Indigenous material: in houses, usually the wood of oak, brick, stucco, and locally stored stones are used. 
    • Authenticity in structure: houses have strong posts and exposed beams that enhance the structural authenticity.
    • Artists’ skills: In houses, handmade tiles were used, and also the metal used was hand-hammered. All these handmade things of artists embrace imperfection and simplicity.
    • Nature influenced: the decoration and interior designing of the homes were done by shells and bones. Also, the wood grains were encouraged. 
    • Focus on home life: the homes had bright interiors and prominent fireplaces. 

     But in the 1910s, when the Cold War era ended, the arts and Crafts movement style started fading dramatically.

    Arts And Crafts Movement Characteristics

    The idea of William Morris of providing people with pleasant and good quality products brings out the arts and crafts movement. Also, William emphasized the techniques of traditional craftworks that enhance the idea of the arts and crafts movement, as well as the decorative designs and products of his company, influenced this idea. 

    The arts and crafts movement is widely spread internationally, so there are no specific arts and crafts movement characteristics and a single style that describes it. Also, this movement spread widely by several arts and crafts guilds, schools, and organizations. 

    The main characteristic that emphasizes the arts and crafts movement is the firm belief in the craftsmanship that influences the good quality of the product and simplicity in its manufacturing and designing process. Also, the impact of nature inspires this movement. This arts and crafts movement promoted man’s critical thinking and sustainable techniques for designing and manufacturing products. 

    Women of the Arts and Crafts Movement

    As the arts and crafts movement becomes an international trend in making decorative products and fine arts. It was first established in the British Isles and then afterward became popular all across the British Empire and also in America and Europe. 

    From the beginning of the arts and crafts movement, women made significant accomplishments in this movement, mainly in Victorian England. They expertise in decorating pottery, creating beautiful buildings and gardens, and professionalizing in design embroidery, artwork, sculpturing, or painting work. 

    The American Craft Council Women’s Committee

    The American Craft Council is a national organization that has been promoting and supporting the work of contemporary craft artists since 1935. The American Craft Council Women’s Committee was founded in 1972 by Helen Shaver, who wanted to create a space for women in the crafts world.

    The committee’s motto is “advancing creativity through fellowship.”


    Why we love arts and crafts?


    Why we love arts and crafts? We love arts and crafts beacause they are enjoyed by people of all ages. For kids, crafts can be a fun and creative way to spend an afternoon. For adults crafting can be a relaxing hobby or a chance to express their creativity. Arts and crafts can also be used to DIY projects around the house or to create decor for your home.

    Arts can be as simple as painting a picture or as complicated as building a piece of furniture. No matter what your skill level, there is an arts and craft project that is perfect for you. So why not try your hand at arts and crafts today? You might just find that you have a hidden talent for artful creation!

    In Conclusion

    Women in the arts and crafts movement have been a vital part of it since its inception. More often than not, they were overlooked by people that only want showcase male artists. In this blog post we explore how these empowered ladies can use their creative side without having to rely on anyone else’s approval or validation. We hope you enjoyed reading about these incredible female creatives in the arts and crafts movement!

    If you like this article and would like to know more, please comment below.

    Like and Share!

    Share this post

    CraftyThinking Logo
    Sarah Thomas - Co-Creator of CraftyThinking

    Hi, I'm Sarah!

    CraftyThinking is all about striving to inspire creativity in children by allowing them to explore their creative side through art and crafts.

    We are about helping parents give their children an outlet to explore their creativity without worrying about the mess or time commitment!

    Recent Posts

    Share this post

    Fun Family Crafts
    Fun Family Crafts
    Be the First to Know!

    Get weekly updates about our latest crafts, educational resources and much more.

    Free Parenting Guide

    Parenting Guide

    Sign up and get your free Parenting Guide Flipbook!