Art versus industry?

New perspectives on visual and industrial cultures in nineteenth-century Britain

Edited by Kate Nichols, Rebecca Wade and Gabriel Williams

Art versus industry?

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9646-4
  • Pages: 280
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £90.00
  • Published Date: February 2016
  • BIC Category: 19th century, c 1800 to c 1899, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic History, Art History, HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century, Economics, finance, business & management / Economic history, The arts / History of art & design styles: c 1800 to c 1900, History of art, General & world history
  • Series: Studies in Design and Material Culture


This book is about encounters between art and industry in nineteenth-century Britain. It looks beyond the oppositions established by later interpretations of the work of John Ruskin, William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement to reveal surprising examples of collaboration - between artists, craftspeople, designers, inventors, curators, engineers and educators - during a crucial period in the formation of the cultural and commercial identity of Britain and its colonies. Across thirteen chapters by fourteen contributors, Art versus industry? explores such diverse subjects as the production of lace, the mechanical translation of sculpture, the display of stained glass, the use of the kaleidoscope in painting and pattern design, the emergence of domestic electric lighting and the development of art and design education and international exhibitions in India.


'There is a substantial amount of significant new research on offer here, framed within a wide-ranging demonstration of the socio-political reach of contemporary design history. The authors are an interesting combination of curators and academic art historians, some well-established, others from a new generation of young scholars, and several with cross-disciplinary backgrounds.'
Brian Maidment, Liverpool John Moores University, Victorian Studies, Vol. 59, No. 4


1 Art versus industry? An introduction - Kate Nichols and Rebecca Wade
Part I: The art/industry divide: nineteenth-century representations
2 Lace, ladies and labours lost: the meanings of handicraft in Victorian and Edwardian Britain - Lara Kriegel
3 Art, accuracy and the anaglyptograph: a debate about the mechanical translation of sculptures - Gabriel Williams
4 'Why are the painted windows in the industrial department?': the classification of stained glass at the London and Paris International Exhibitions, 1851-1900 - Jasmine Allen
5 William Blake, the arts and crafts movement and the mythography of manufacture - Colin Trodd
Part II: Art and new technologies
6 Repetition, virtuality and mechanical pattern: the significance of the kaleidoscope for the 'fine and useful arts' - Nicole Bush
7 'Mere adventurers in drawing': engineers and draughtsmen as visual technicians in nineteenth-century Britain - Frances Robertson
8 Industrialised graphic technologies in symbiosis with the world of art: the Illustrated London News and the Graphic c.1870-90 - Tom Gretton
9 True ornament? The art and industry of electric lighting in the home, 1889-1902 - Graeme Gooday and Abigail Harrison Moore
Part III: Resituating design reform and art education
10 Building a better class of craft practitioner: ideals and realities in sculptural practice and the building industry c.1880-1910 - Ann Compton
11 'A fraught challenge to the status quo': the 1883-4 Calcutta International Exhibition, conceptions of art and industry and the politics of world fairs - Renate Dohmen
12 The industry of colour: art, design and dyeing between Britain and India, 1851-96 - Natasha Eaton
13 Surface deceits: Owen Jones and John Ruskin on the ornament of the Alhambra - Lara Eggleton


Kate Nichols is Birmingham Fellow in British Art in the Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies at the University of Birmingham; Rebecca Wade is Assistant Curator (Sculpture) at Leeds Museums and Galleries; Gabriel Williams received his PhD on relations between sculpture, industry and international exhibitions from the University of York in 2015. He is an independent researcher and teaches art history in schools.

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