Saturday, 22 January 2011

definitions of traditional crafts

HCA committee today amongst other things were discussing whether it is good to try to pin down precise definitions of what traditional crafts are. It is an ongoing and interesting discussion and Tanya Harrod just contributed this gem from 1946

'Popular and traditional art, in the sense here intended, is hard to define
though easy enough to recognise when seen. It is the art which ordinary
people have, from time immemorial, introduced into their everyday lives,
sometimes making it themselves, at others imposing their own tastes on the
products of the craftsman or the machine, in contrast to the more
sophisticated art made by specialists for wealthy patrons'.

From the introduction to their book English Popular and Traditional
Art(Collins, 1946 Britain in Pictures series) Enid Marx and Margaret Lambert

It is a lovely book that takes in tinsel theatre sheets, harvest jugs,
ships' figure heads, fairground horses, inn signs, barge decorations,
pearlie kings and queens, quilts, weather vanes, toys, butter pats etc etc.
The popular art craze of the 1930s had a slightly socialist tinge - art for
the people and by the people.


I just ordered a copy from AbeBooks.

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