Journal Article

The Influence of English Design Reform in Catalonia

Anna Calvera

in Journal of Design History

Published on behalf of Design History Society

Volume 15, issue 2, pages 83-100
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 0952-4649
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1741-7279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jdh/15.2.83
The Influence of English Design Reform in Catalonia

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It is widely accepted that William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement played an important role in the rise of the decorative arts in Catalonia at the turn of the century, associated with the movement called Modernisme. This article studies the influence of English design reform in broad terms, comparing it with contemporary Catalan tendencies and approaches. Some interesting conclusions arise. First, Morris was not very well known at the time Modernisme emerged in the 1870s and 1880s. His influence would arrive later, in the 1890s, when a change of mind took place within Catalan Modernisme. Even then, however, Morris cannot be considered a major influence but, rather, a remote cultural reference. Secondly, Pre-Raphaelitism played an important role in the evolution of Modernisme mainly through the writings of Casellas and the work of Riquer. Thirdly, the Arts and Crafts movement and early Modernisme are too contemporary to find influences between them. The Arts and Crafts movement influenced Catalan arts but only later, when Noucentisme politicians were looking for forms of production outside industry and the social problems that it engendered. Finally, it will be suggested that the adoption of Arts and Crafts attitudes in the late Modernisme and Noucentisme periods was based on a ‘high’ Modernisme interpretation of Pre-Raphaelitism and this explains why Catalan industry and artists did not turn to industrial design as the Deurscher Werkbund and the British DLA had done in the same period.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: History of Art ; Art Forms ; Industrial and Commercial Art ; Art Styles

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