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Level X

History – Arts and Crafts to Art Deco: Arts & Culture of the 19th and 20th Centuries – Summer Term


The three wonderful ‘A’;s! Three new and exciting movements from the middle of the Victorian century to the middle of the Twentieth century.

After industrialised mass-produced goods, the Arts and Crafts movement celebrated a return to individual handcrafted items. This led to the ornate, nature-inspired designs of Art Nouveau which morphed into the geometric style of Art Deco. All influenced people’;s lives and living.

We study the impact of arts and culture on 19th and 20th centuries society and the very distinct and colourful look of each of these inspired, innovative and iconic styles, starting with William Morris led Arts and Crafts. It began mid-century in Britain, comprising a group of craftsmen, artists, designers and architects who aimed to raise the status of the applied arts to that of fine art. They hand-made individual pieces that were also useful, and designed exquisite houses, furniture and furnishings.

Art Nouveau style followed on directly from Victorian Arts & Crafts and was in response to radical changes and technological advances. It was highly decorative, with undulating and flowing forms, waves, asymmetrical lines and famous “whiplash” curve. Its organic structure, designs and motifs were influenced by many forms; as was 1920s & 30s iconic Art Deco, Modernist style, but this was geometric and curving, utilising modern technology and materials such as cement and chrome.

Illustrated with colourful power-point sideshows, books and images.

N.B. History courses may contain outdated attitudes, cultural depictions and language which cause offence today. They have to be viewed from an historic perspective. When discussing the content these views are not those of the tutor.

Tutor Sarah Tobias. This course will run on Tuesday afternoons, 1300-1500


Suitable for all abilities


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