Well, it's been a busy week! I've been teaching tutorials all this week and I'm afraid I've neglected my blog!
Tonight I've decided to write a bit about Walter Crane, who is perhaps best known as an illustrator of fairy tales and children's books. Although Walter Crane is not as well known as William Morris, they were friends and Crane was a key character in the Arts and Crafts movement. Like Morris, Ruskin and others, Crane oftened lectured on drawing and design and was the art director at Reading College.
Crane's work was not well received by critics, which is perhaps why he turned to illustrating children's books. His drawings have a strong Japanese influence and are also reminiscent of Kate Greenway's work. He also collaborated with William Morris on illustrations for the Kelmscott book The Story of the Glittering Plain.
I love this quote from Walter Crane wrote about the Arts and Crafts Movement. He had a real passion for beauty that shows though in his writing:
The movement represents in some sense a revolt against the hard mechanical conventional life and it's insensitivity to beauty. It is a protest against that so called industrial progress which produces shoddy wares, the cheapness of which is paid for by the lives of their producers and the degradation of their users. It is a protest against the turning of men into machines against artificial distinctions in art, and against making the immediate market value or possibility of profit the chief test of artistic merit. It also advances the claim of all and each to the common possession of beauty in things common and familiar.
Later in life, Walter Crane moved beyond painting and drawing and moved on to designing sculptures, wallpaper, stained glass and textiles. The image at the right is actually one of his wallpaper designs. How beautiful!