Thursday, March 13, 2008

Walter Crane

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!


Grace said...

Glad you're back! I've missed your posts :)

Lovely quote by Crane! I wasn't quite aware of his role in the A&C movement. My favorite of his is his illustrations of Puss in Boots. I am terribly biased though, since I have my own little black cat, and I love that he drew his Puss that way!

skatej said...

The brass was cut using a metal hole puncher and a jewelry saw. In retrospect, however, I should have used a drill instead of the puncher. I felt like i had just gone through labor when I finished it. Right now I'm working on knitted wire for my folklore piece. I'm doing Allerleirauh

skatej said...

And thanks for the sweet compliments! It's nice to hear that something I worked so hard on is appreciated.

Walter Crane's illustration style looks from a version of Beauty and the Beast that I had when I was little I think.