<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-PWMWG4" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">
Art Diary

Art without Heroes: Mingei

22 March 2024

In the 1920s the Arts and Crafts movement, pioneered by designers such as William Morris, Philip Webb and Walter Crane, was in full swing in Europe and North America. That same decade saw the emergence of an equivalent in Japan. Mingei (usually translated as ‘folk craft’) was a term coined by the philosopher Yanagi Soetsu to describe this movement, which advocated the production of simple, functional, handmade craft objects and saw practical use as being a key marker of aesthetic beauty. The William Morris Gallery is therefore a fitting host for this exhibition – the largest ever show dedicated to Mingei in the UK – which tracks the movement’s influences, development and modern iterations through a selection of ceramics, textiles, woodwork, toys, photographs and more (23 March–22 September). Find out more from the William Morris Gallery’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary

Raku earthenware bowl made by Tomimoto Kenkichi in 1912. Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Teapot with a tenmoku glaze and bamboo handle by an anonymous maker in 1934. University for the Creative Arts, Farnham

Six-fold wooden screen showing a map of Okinawa by Serizawa Keisuke, c. 1940. Victoria and Albert Museum, London