Within The Reach of All: The Century Guild is the first exhibition in 20 years to explore the pioneering aesthetics and lasting legacy of this influential association of artists, designers and craftspeople.
The Century Guild was established by the architect and designer Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo (1851 – 1942), who later helped found the William Morris Gallery, and his assistant, Herbert Percy Horne (1864 – 1916), in close collaboration with designer Selwyn Image (1849 – 1930). They aspired to elevate crafts to the status of art, integrate both art and crafts in domestic interiors, and democratise good design. Within The Reach of All: The Century Guild will explore the group's key figures, along with its influence on Art Nouveau, 20th-century design and modern publishing, through works from the William Morris Gallery, which holds the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of Century Guild works.
The exhibition coincides with the publication of a new book on the subject by Stuart Evans and Jean Liddiard. Arts and Crafts Pioneers: The Hobby Horse Men and their Century Guild is published in the UK by Lund Humphries on 28 January 2021.