Art, craft and industry - Christophe Bardin

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Christophe Bardin explains how decorative art evolved from craft to industry. He explores history from the Middle Ages to the present day to understand the position of art in manufacturing. He refers to writings by Patrick Verley, Karl Marx, Jean Lahore, William Morris, John Ruskin and Marius Vachon. He goes on to describe the evolution of this thinking in France and England, drawing on 19th-century thinking such as that of Eugène Grasset, who opposed industry when Leon le compte de Laborde pointed out that technical progress had to be accepted. He goes on to use the evolution of glassmaking and glassworking as an example, giving us a broader reading, including the changing place of objects in our daily lives. Manufacturing processes are evolving, as are factories. From one person working on an object in the Middle Ages to 7 in the 16th and 17th centuries, the political upheavals in production were considerable. The production objectives of glassmakers like Baccara and Emile Gallé are not the same, and cannot be maintained over time in the same way.


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Christophe Bardin is Professor of Design at Jean Monnet University in Saint-Étienne. His research focuses on the concept of the art industry - now the luxury goods industry - through the lens of glass, posing the question of artistic practices within a given system of constraints - aesthetic, economic, political or sociological, among others.

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