"For Love Not Money"
European Peasant Art
"…for an article to be reckoned as a product of Peasant Art it must have been made not to sell to another, but to keep, or at most to give."
The Peasant Arts Museum at Haslemere by Rev. G.S. Davies
Between 1896 and 1933, Haslemere had a thriving community of artists who were determined to revive lost country crafts in England. The Haslemere Peasant Arts Society rejected the industrial economy, with its mass production of goods, and set up craft workshops and weaving houses in the town. The Society collected original examples of European peasant art and craft to provide inspiration for the workers.
The three main figures of the Peasant Arts Movement in Haslemere were Joseph King, a prominent educationalist and social reformer; Godfrey Blount, a leading member of the Arts and Craft Movement, and Reverend Gerald Stanley Davies, a master at Charterhouse School in Godalming. The contribution made by Maude King and Ethel Blount, the wives of Joseph and Godfrey, should also not be overlooked.
The European Art Collection
The majority of the objects were collected by Reverend Davies during his travels across Europe during the late nineteenth century. They represent just a small proportion of the collection donated to Haslemere Educational Museum in 1926. The artefacts are mainly everyday items, for example food containers, furniture and domestic implements, which have been made beautiful by exquisite carving and paintwork. Today, they also provide an insight in to the rituals and patterns of life of the people who produced them.