Recent and forthcoming lectures
Note: all lectures will be held at Onslow Village Hall, Guildford.
Recent and forthcoming events
The Victorian era was a dynamic period of innovation, imagination and get-up-and-go, but some Victorians questioned the ‘progress’ that was being made and were fearful for the future of craft skills and thoughtful way of life. This talk reviews the conditions surrounding carpet use and manufacture at that time, including the part played by the Arts and Craft Movement. The subsequent history of the carpet industry is also briefly covered, together with the loss of skills and technologies; and the consequences of inaction for our culture and historic environment.
Mo Mant, MSc Hist Cons, is co-founder of the not-for-profit conservation project The Living Looms Project, which seeks to maintain, through production and training, traditional textile skills and technologies for future generations; to deploy and develop in traditional and innovative ways. Initially weaving replacements for worn or damaged fine historic carpets, the Project aims to rescue threatened looms and support other textile initiatives. Locations for Looms replacement carpets include the National Trust’s Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk and the Hampton Mansion near Baltimore, Maryland, owned by the National Parks Service of America.
The creation of the Birmingham School of Art in 1885, Britain’s first municipal college of art, provided the impetus for the local Arts and Crafts movement. Although Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris did not teach at the school, they were very supportive. Burne-Jones’s windows for St Philips designed between 1885-91 were in effect a gift to the city of his birth. The art school's energetic headmaster, Edward R. Taylor, a devotee of art critic and social thinker John Ruskin, took a personal lead, founding the Ruskin Pottery at Smethick, Staffs in 1898. Former students, Arthur Joseph Gaskin and his wife Georgie Gaskin, began making jewellery in 1899. The Birmingham Guild of Handicraft, formally established in 1895, also provided a hub for local craftsmen.
Anne Anderson is currently Associate Professor at Exeter University, a tutor at the V&A and NADFAS lecturer. Her specialist knowledge is the Aesthetic Movement, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and Modernism. Previously, she taught on the Fine Arts Valuation degree at Southampton Solent University.
The Technical Educational Acts of 1889-1891 opened up country-wide adult education and this lecture will concentrate on the opportunities that programmes of craft and art education afforded women at a time when access to other forms of education were costly, difficult or impossible. The revived crafts of the ‘Arts and Crafts Movement’, from calligraphy and vernacular pottery to carving and weaving and dyeing, were supported by technical education and constituted a particularly fruitful avenue for women to gain an education within the arts when more formal channels were barred.
Dr Stephen Knott is a writer, researcher and lecturer in craft theory and history. He is author of Amateur Craft: History and Theory (Bloomsbury, 2015). Stephen was the founder post-doctoral fellow in modern craft at the Crafts Study Centre, Farnham, and is an editor of The Journal of Modern Craft. Currently lecturing in Critical and Historical Studies at Kingston University, he is working on a new book about making and free time.
Details of past events
Archive details of past events are available for the following years:
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