Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Can a 19th Century British Art Movement Solve the Modern Global Jobs Problem?

“Workers of the world, unite!” Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels bellowed in The Communist Manifesto in 1848, largely in response to the Industrial Revolution (and Second Industrial Revolution) threatening not just the livelihoods but the very lives of many workers as profit reigned mercilessly over people. Marx even put the slogan on his tombstone, long before the Soviet Union adopted it as their official mantra. Workers of the world today facing the double whammy of technological revolution and systemic economic collapse wonder what, if anything, they should unite around. Although she doesn’t take the idea as far as I’d like to, Yvonne Roberts in The Guardian offers a possible solution in 19th century British artist and designer William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement. Morris “esteemed craftsmen and women, unlike today when they are seen are second-besters,” Roberts writes, but I think you can extend that “second-best” label to nearly all the “99%” facing underemployment or non-employment around the world. Can a 19th century British art movement solve the modern global jobs problem? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of  "Can a 19thCentury British Art Movement Solve the Modern Global Jobs Problem?"

[Image: William Morris. The Strawberry Thief, 1883. Textile design for walls or furnishings.]
[ANNOUNCEMENT: I will be presenting a lecture titled “Art Made Personal: Chris Sanderson and the Wyeth Family” at the Christian C. Sanderson Museum in Chadds Ford, PA, on Sunday, June 23rd, from 1 to 3 pm. Please come out to support a great museum with a great collection of art and historical artifacts.]

No comments: