Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Committee Chair

Michele Strong


The British Arts and Crafts movement (1860-1914) was a call for the return to artisan craftsmanship as a response to mass-production driven by the Industrial Revolution (1760-1830). Historically, the movement has been viewed as a socialist concept developed by men. However, in 1979, a feminist intervention in women's history challenged this masculinist perspective. As the movement spread to the United States (1870-1920), first to New England and then to the South in New Orleans, it also expanded into concepts that moved beyond craftsmanship and into women's issues, such as education, suffrage, and professional work opportunities. It is now evident that women played an important role in the establishment of the movement's principles and the dissemination of its techniques. Through the lens of transatlantic networking, the women's middle-class labor experience, and material culture analysis, this project will argue that through the opportunities provided by female-managed workshops, industrial art schools, and transatlantic discourse, women found the first legitimate space for professional work in the design and textile field, allowing them to earn an income while also satisfying artistic ambitions.