oa South African Journal of Cultural History - The influence of arts and crafts ideology in South Africa

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1018-0745



This article presents a summary of Arts and Crafts ideology and shows that it exerted an influence far beyond its specifically British, nineteenth century origins. In general Arts and Crafts generated an appreciation for the local and the traditional. At the same time, its ideals of social upliftment had a significant impact on design ethics early in the twentieth century, when many of its beliefs were incorporated by Modernism. It is shown in this article how Arts and Crafts notions often formed the implicit grounding for artistic and architectural enterprises in South Africa since at least the end of the nineteenth century. The article concludes with a short review of the relevance of Arts and Crafts ideology in contemporary South Africa, and suggests that in their applicability today many of William Morris's initial thoughts have once again become pertinent and indeed viable.

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