THE AESTHETIC MOVEMENT IN AMERICA - JESSE WAUGH ART VLOG
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York exhibition description:
The Aesthetic Movement in America
The Aesthetic movement developed in the wake of the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain with the aim of reforming art and industry through design. This influential design crusade championed the marriage of the beautiful and the functional in furniture, metalwork, ceramics, stained glass, textiles, wallpaper, and books. Drawing on historical European styles, reformers such as Christopher Dresser, Bruce J. Talbert, William Morris, and Charles Locke Eastlake were also inspired by Eastern sources, especially decorative ornament and forms from Japan, China, and the Islamic world. A cultural phenomenon of its time, the Aesthetic movement promoted beauty as an artistic, social, and moral force, particularly in the domestic realm.
The catalyst for the phenomenon’s widespread popularity in the United States was the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition, held in Philadelphia. Anglo-American Aestheticism remained a driving force through the late 1880s as the artistic culture and lifestyle movement flourished to encompass painting, sculpture, and works on paper; the proliferation of art publications, clubs, and societies; an intense interest in collecting and decoration; and the founding of the nation’s major art museums. Aesthetic furnishings and objects, such as those on view in this gallery, were intended for fully integrated domestic interiors—as seen, for example, in the nearby Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room— and reveal the progressive tastes and collaborative spirit of the era.