Applied arts

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The arts and crafts include the manual , mechanical or industrial production of everyday objects with artistic demands. In contrast to the closely related arts and crafts , the arts and crafts produce the objects in larger series. The designs are often carried out by other workshops or external artists.

The products of the applied arts and crafts are works of art and at the same time objects of daily use. They are summarized under the term practical art or applied art . Decorative art is also used, especially when it comes to interior fittings .

Poster for Otto Gussmann's third German arts and crafts exhibition in 1906 .


In the 19th century, commercial museums, arts and crafts museums and arts and crafts schools were founded for the first time to collect and present illustrative examples of artistically designed everyday objects. Above all, manual training should be promoted here.

The magazine Kunst und Künstler in Berlin was published in 1902 , with the subtitle expressly called “Illustrated Monthly for Fine Arts and Applied Arts” and which was printed until 1933. The Bauhaus is one of the best-known schools of applied arts . It existed from 1919 to 1933 and is regarded worldwide as the home of the avant-garde and meanwhile classical modernism in all areas of free and applied art.

Applied arts can be understood as a forerunner of product design , for which special design museums were founded in the 20th century . It has also contributed a lot to the advancement of art techniques .


In contrast to the arts and crafts, which produce unique items or works in small series, in the arts and crafts objects of daily use are also reproduced in larger series, by machine and according to foreign designs. As a result, according to Walter Benjamin's work The Work of Art, in the age of its technical reproducibility, the individual product has no aura , and the artistic character of this type of production is therefore called into question.

There are also producers with “artistic aspirations” (see the definition above) who produce works that many find kitschy . Such works should therefore also be assigned to the area of ​​“applied arts”, but not without question works of art.

Consequently, the term arts and crafts is often used in a derogatory sense. A typical rating is: “Masterfully executed and yet only arts and crafts”. The product is well crafted, but not original . A similar argument is made when art is supposedly used in the wrong context:

“In the visual arts, no matter how radical border crossings, one thing is clear: It is not something that you put somewhere, rub down or put on. Not because it would then wear out too quickly. Because there has long been art that gradually decomposes itself or has to be renewed regularly. But while the fine arts adorn the houses, body jewelry, at least as soon as it is worn, is always only a decorative art. "


See also

Portal: Handicrafts  - Overview of Wikipedia content on handicrafts


  • Carl Friedrich Adolf von Lützow: Art and applied arts at the Vienna World Exhibition 1873 , Leipzig 1875.
  • Werner Sombart: applied arts and culture . Berlin 1908.
  • Gustav E. Pazaurek: Good and bad taste in the arts and crafts. German publishing house, Stuttgart / Berlin 1912.
  • Alain Gruber: The History of Decorative Arts.
    • Volume I: The Renaissance and Mannerism in Europe 1480-1630 , Munich, Hirmer Verlag, 496 p. With 830 illustrations, 480 of them in color, ISBN 1-55859-821-9 .
    • Volume II: Classicism and Baroque in Europe 1630-1760 , Munich, Hirmer Verlag, 496 pages with 830 illustrations, 480 of which are in color, ISBN 0-7892-0017-1 .
    • Volume III: From Neoclassicism to Art Nouveau 1760-1930 , Munich, Hirmer Verlag, ISBN 3-7774-1022-5 .
  • Der Neue Brockhaus, 3rd edition, Wiesbaden 1960, Volume III, p. 248 f .: arts and crafts

Web links

Wikisource: Das Kunstgewerbe (1914)  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Book review on Ignazio Vok / Nicholas Grindley / Florian Hufnagl: Pure Form - Classic Furniture from China - Vok Collection
  2. Ingo Niemann: What about people? Commentary on the exhibition of works by Antje Majewski in Salzburg 2008 ( Memento of the original from January 5, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /