13th December 2013
The Art Workers’ Guild was founded in 1884 and is still in existence to this day. The Guild is housed in a beautiful Georgian building in a garden square in Bloomsbury, London. The organisation is based on the ideals of the Arts & Crafts Movement.
The Guild is very important historically because it was founded to protect the standards of art and design that the Arts & Crafts Movement had worked to uphold and to protect the idea of the unity of Arts and Crafts. That is to say, that there should not be a division between Fine and Applied Art. It was set up at the time that architecture was becoming professionalised and the and many of the Guild members were architects who joined together to oppose this, as they felt it would lower standards.
Walter Crane was one of the founding members of the Guild. Crane’s friend and colleague, William Morris was not one of the founding members of the Guild, although he became Master of the Guild in 1892. There is a portrait bust of William Morris in the meeting hall.