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Apostles of Beauty: Arts and Crafts from Britain to Chicago

Judith A. Barter, General Editor 

2010 Chicago Book Clinic Book and Media Show

Hardcover $45.00
To order: 

Order online from the Art Institute Museum Shop or call 1-888-301-9612. Available to booksellers at wholesale prices from Yale University Press.


In November 2009, the Art Institute of Chicago will present Apostles of Beauty: Arts and Crafts from Britain to Chicago, featuring designs by the movement’s most notable practitioners—from Charles Robert Ashbee to Frank Lloyd Wright—and highlighting a wide range of objects, including ceramics, furniture, jewelry and metalwork, paintings, photography, prints, and textiles. The Art Institute’s exhibition will make a thoughtful contribution to scholarship by tracing the turn-of-the-century movement’s impact on American designers and manufacturers and exploring the complex influences of Arts and Crafts style, situating its origins and expressions. Both the exhibition and catalogue will present a thematic history of the movement, culminating in a section on design and collecting in Chicago. In that regard, the exhibition will introduce the city’s little-seen, yet spectacular, world-class private collections of Arts and Crafts design, as well as the accomplishments of Arts and Crafts practitioners.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a lavishly illustrated, full-color catalogue that explores specific aspects of the Arts and Crafts movement in five essays authored by the museum’s curators in the Department of American Art. The first chapter will focus on British Arts and Crafts, from its early roots to the influence of William Morris and his circle on the next generation of architect-designers, tracing medievalism to modernity. The second will explore how the nineteenth-century phenomenon of “Orientalism” manifested itself in both British and American design. The third will chronicle the development of American Arts and Crafts style, emphasizing Elbert Hubbard and Gustav Stickley and will chart the regional variations promoted by Stickley’s Craftsman magazine. The fourth will look at photography and the emergence of Pictorialism within an Arts and Crafts framework. The final chapter will discuss the craftsmanship particular to Chicago, where the movement was embraced by the progressive social work leader Jane Addams and educator John Dewey, as well as the city’s collecting trends.

The Art Institute of Chicago, 2009 
9 x 12 in.; 208 pages; 225 color illustrations 
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-300-14113-9