Thursday 19 December 2019
Image: Haslemere Peasant Art textile, designed by Godfrey Blount. ©Haslemere Educational Museum
The Decorative Arts Society is delighted to announce that the March 2019 Collections Access Grant of £5000 has been awarded to Haslemere Educational Museum to publish a book entitled The Rustic Renaissance: The Haslemere Peasant Arts Movement.
At the end of the 19th century, Haslemere was home to a group of influential artists and writers who, inspired by the peasant communities in Europe, wanted to set up craft workshops in the town to emulate their vernacular craft traditions and so Haslemere Peasant Industries was founded. As well as establishing small workshops, particularly related to textiles, to revive craft traditions and create an artistic community, the founders collected European examples of crafts.
Although the European folk art collection has been exhibited and published, the objects produced in Haslemere and the related archive have remained in the shadows. However, recently a lot of research has been done on this aspect of the collection and this book will give a detailed history of the movement, the people involved and its significance in the Arts and Crafts Movement and beyond. The museum hopes this publication will increase awareness of the collection, the importance of Haslemere in the story of the Arts and Crafts, encourage more research, and act as a catalyst to reinstalling and reinterpreting the collection displays in the museum.