Arts and Crafts Gardens

Arts and Crafts Gardens

By Wendy Hitchmough. V & A Publications, $24.95 “The house as a work of art, perfectly harmonious in its relationship with nature, was designed to have an improving effect upon the spirit as well as the lifestyle of the client,” writes art historian Wendy Hitchmough in this well-illus-trated and informative book tracing the Arts & Crafts movement from its main inspiration—the garden. Design reform at the turn of the twentieth century mirrored political and social changes of the day. In reaction to the Industrial Revolution, for example, pioneers of the Arts and Craft movement such as John Ruskin, William Morris and C. F. A. Voysey pushed for the need to get back to nature. As she guides us through the “almost wild plantings” that resulted from the movement’s desire to smudge the lines between outdoors and in, Hitch mough, curator of the Charleston, the famous Bloomsbury artists’ Sussex home, also provides an illumin-ating history of architecture, furniture and textiles. Color plates, historic black-and-white photographs and drawings of gardens in Britain, Europe and the US show readers the profound influence of Arts and Crafts on the gardens of our time.