“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” — William Morris
The Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century transformed England beyond recognition, turning a country of farmers into factory workers. It was a world ‘which saw the rich getting richer and the poor getting very much poorer’. The artist, designer and political radical, William Morris, brought together a group of colleagues to challenge the ‘dishonest’ mechanisation of factory goods and restore the importance of craftsmanship, quality and ‘truthfulness’ through design.
Art historian Abigail Harrison-Moore visits the National Trust’s Standen house, one of the most charming examples of Arts and Crafts workmanship in the UK, and explores its surprisingly pioneering spirit – from the use of electric lighting to its role in the Suffragette movement.