From William Morris Building Conservation and the Arts and Crafts Cult of Authenticity, 1877-1939 Chris Miele

Studies in British Art
Publication date:
10 Jul 2005
Paul Mellon Centre BA
364 pages: 254 x 178mm
72 b-w illus.


This book takes a fresh and wide-ranging look at the origins of the architectural conservation movement in the United Kingdom. Distinguished contributors consider how the modern concept of heritage emerged in the nineteenth century, how politics as well as art and design played a role in the creation of a historic buildings culture, and how the writings and activities of designer William Morris and architect Philip Webb shaped thinking about conservation.

Chapters of the book address such diverse topics as the place of historic buildings in Morris’s thinking, the relation of the Arts and Crafts Movement to Victorian ideas of heritage, the distortion of Morrisian ideals in early twentieth-century New England, and the emergence of an urban vs. rural conservation culture. Drawing on extensive historical research, the book casts new light not only on the history of the Conservation Movement but also on its role today.

Chris Miele, an architectural historian and town planner, is a director of RPS Planning Transport and Environment in London.

'For professionals...the book is welcome... General readers...will also find in these pages valuable clues to "the British look"...' - Graham Tite,