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Art & Photography
Publication Date
01 August 2013
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited
B/W & Colour throughout

Hand, Heart and Soul

The Arts and Crafts Movement in Scotland
by Elizabeth Cumming - Find out more about the author
Books from Scotland Art Book of the Year 2007
Shortlisted for the Saltire Society 2007 Research Book of the Year

‘A cultural historical tour de force’ – Scottish Art News

‘This handsomely produced volume has set the standard’ – Sunday Herald

‘It is much more than a glossy coffee table book, being a dense but enjoyable history of a fascinating period in Scottish life … an absorbing tale’ – Herald

’This book is a landmark’ - Journal of the Scottish Society for Art History
’Marvellously informative’ - Newsletter of the Historians of British Art

Arts and Crafts artist-designers changed the lives of Scots. Through the furnishing of public buildings, exhibitions, church craft and home design, they aimed to restore beauty to everyday experience. They worked in such diverse fields as furniture, textiles, jewellery and metalwork, glass, ceramics, mural decoration and architectural design and crafts. Theirs is a narrative of close networks of families and friends, men and women, designers and industrialists dedicated to the rights of the individual and to the proper place of art within modern society. It is a remarkable and often inspiring story of ideals, commitment – and imagination.

Scottish Arts and Crafts brought together British design practice with the romance of tradition. This book for the first time provides a national context for the work of Margaret Macdonald and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Robert Lorimer and Phoebe Anna Traquair. Various chapters look at public art, concepts of tradition, the rise of independent professional women designers, domestic and church buildings, the role of craft within communities, and how Arts and Crafts was finally transformed in the age of Modernism. Many new names emerge from the shadows – people such as the entrepreneurial Ayrshire and Carlisle manufacturer James Morton, Robert Maclaurin, Glasgow industrial chemist and co-founder of a Socialist housing colony in Stirling, James Morris, Ayr architect, writer and conservationist, and D. Y. Cameron, known as a landscape artist but also a designer and promoter of church craft. The legacy of Arts and Crafts is still alive in values of craftsmanship and the conservation movement.

Elizabeth Cumming is a graduate of Edinburgh University. She was initially a curator of fine art in Dundee and in Edinburgh, where she was Keeper of the City Art Centre, but her interests widened while researching her doctoral thesis in the early 1980s on the pioneer Arts and Crafts artist Phoebe Anna Traquair, whose work she has since championed. During the 1990s she taught design history and theory at Edinburgh College of Art, while continuing to pursue freelance curatorship internationally. Her exhibitions included Glasgow 1900: Art & Design at the Rijksmuseum Vincent Van Gogh in Amsterdam in 1992. Since 2000, when appointed an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Glasgow University, she has worked as an independent art and design historian.