This exhibition is now closed
Aestheticism, Arts and Crafts, and the avid pursuit of beauty.
The late nineteenth century Aesthetic and Arts and Crafts Movements saw artists make the pursuit of beauty and ‘art for art’s sake’ their highest goals. Eager to advance common taste – and against a swelling tide of uninspiring of Victorian era industrialised production – they also sought to elevate appreciation for the handmade. Japan’s opening to the West had an enormous impact, as did a shift in art school training that encouraged nature study as a vital source of inspiration. Ongoing cultural flow between hemispheres saw many British artists and teachers coming here, and New Zealand-born artists studying, working and living abroad.