Women in the Early 20th-century Decorative Arts

Still no proper internet so enjoy this latest post from Art Lark.


41TIfqs2PBL._On the 4th of June 1879, British illustrator and designer Mabel Lucie Attwell was born in Mile End, London. At the turn of the century, her drawings of sentimentalized rotund cuddly infants, started appearing in various media such as: cards, calendars, nursery equipment, pictures, crockery and china ware, dolls, postcards, advertisements, posters, books and figurines.

The status of the ‘applied’ or ‘decorative’ arts at the turn of the century and early 20th century was debated by Cheryl Buckley in her book Potters and Paintresses. Women Designers in the Pottery Industry 1870-1955 (The Women’s Press, London, 1990). She found that the period in question coincides with the emergence of the designer industry, opening up creative careers which had not existed before the work of pioneering Glaswegian product designer Christopher Dresser. It seemed that those designers who adapted soonest to the latest changes in technology and the economic restrictions imposed in those times, managed…

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