ARTH329-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

In search of Nowhere: the international Arts and Crafts Movement

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


A detailed introduction to the Arts and Crafts Movement, one of the most interdisciplinary, international, and influential artistic phenomena in history.

The Arts and Crafts Movement is much more exciting than is commonly imagined. A far cry from the assumption that it consisted in the main of earnest worthies ‘doing clever things with fir cones’ (Blakesley 2006, p.9), the Arts and Crafts in fact represented art at its most revolutionary and radical. Motivated by the belief that ‘art’ had the potential to encompass all made things, and might transform the world into a leafy utopia populated by happy, socially-minded people dwelling in irresistible yet modest houses, the Movement’s protagonists set about reimagining and redesigning all areas of life and the objects within it. From buildings to jewellery and clothes, chairs to city planning, books to the environment, the Arts and Crafts was profoundly to affect all spheres of ‘long fin-de-siècle’ material culture in England, where the Movement originated. However, it soon captured the imagination of artists, architects, and thinkers in countries across the globe, and many diverse regional variants emerged which used Arts and Crafts principles to frame a host of civil, political, and cultural concerns. The result was a lasting international phenomenon, which was as visually eclectic and progressive as it was fraught with contradictions and problematic assumptions. This course offers a high-paced tour of several continents, making stops for rounded case studies of Arts and Crafts developments in locations including the United States, Scandinavia, Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Learning Outcomes

This course is designed to help participants develop:

+ a thorough understanding of the aims and effects of the Arts and Crafts Movement
+ a more inclusive view of what constitutes ‘art’
+ an ability to consider material culture in socio-political context, and to recognize its active role in shaping this
+ insights into various processes involved in craft production
+ a capacity for critical and interdisciplinary thinking
+ strong visual literacy skills

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Any 30 points at 200 level from ARTH, or
any 60 points at 200 level from the Schedule V of the BA or from the BFA.

Course Coordinator

Rosie Ibbotson


Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.

Textbooks / Resources

There are no ‘textbooks’ as such, nor is it a requirement to purchase all (or any) of the books listed below; however, you will find these very useful throughout the course:

+ Rosalind P Blakesley, The Arts and Crafts Movement (London: 2006)
+ Elizabeth Cumming and Wendy Kaplan, The Arts and Crafts Movement (London: 2002)
+ Karen Livingstone and Linda Parry (eds), International Arts and Crafts (London: 2005)
+ Wendy Kaplan (ed), The Arts and Crafts Movement in Europe and America: design for the modern world (New York City, NY: 2004)
+ Gillian Naylor, The Arts and Crafts Movement: a study of its sources, ideals, and influence on design theory (London: 1990)

Course links

Library portal

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,641.00

International fee $7,500.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All ARTH329 Occurrences

  • ARTH329-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023