‘The Old Art and Craft Debate’

I have just been reading this essay entitled ‘The Old Art and Craft Debate’ (link below) by Robin Wood, wood turner and chair of the Heritage Crafts Association. I know that a lot of you will find it an interesting read. The image created in the early stages of a huge long lasting formal debate having taken place the generation before us is such a great thought. Maybe indeed it did happen but honestly someone should have been keeping the minutes.

Small bowls by Robin Wood

The Old Art and Craft Debate


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3 Responses to ‘The Old Art and Craft Debate’

  1. tim says:

    There are words in our dictionaries that are over used for the wrong reasons.You can use them for nothing and generally ( to me anyway ) mean nothing. The word Fine is overused all the time ,Fine art fine antiques fine wines etc surely it’s up to us to decide that.Any language can be used to elevate yourself and your work Master potter etc surely again that is for us to decide,How many years more are we going to be held back by our class system and snobbery.I used to work with a lady who’s husband bought a box at covent garden for the season she knew nothing about opera,she just enjoyed the bragging rights.So maybe you could define the old art versus craft debate as a class war,the working class would use a Verwood jug to keep their milk in,the local gentry would use Limoge .I once worked for a Captain Knowles he was in his eighties ? Hope this has added to the debate.Able Seaman Bartell retired.

    • Sarah Vaci says:

      Making a connection to class is fascinating and I believe truly relevant! Presumably working class folk used to make more items to use (craft) whereas higher class folk would purchase something made to a higher standard that was ornamental (art?) I will be looking into this further!

  2. KateUK says:

    I blame Joshua Reynolds-he really started putting the idea into painters and sculptors’ heads that they were somehow ‘above’ the humble craftsperson! I suspect as portrait artists in particular were spending most of their time with aristos, they got a bit above themselves and forgot their craft roots in the Guild system once they got their Royal Academy.

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