The Home Arts and Industries Association

The Home Arts and Industries Association (HAIA)  is still comparatively unknown in the wider field of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Through its philanthropic members brought the Arts and Crafts Movement from its roots in London into the everyday houses of Britain and brought the craft revival to thousands of mainly rural based students.

The Association was set up in the 1880's by Eglantyne Louisa Jebb (1845 - 1925) who had previously founded the Cottage Arts Association in Shropshire. The association combined craft and philanthropy by training mainly middle class women in one of the 'old cottage crafts' and then when ready sending them out to start a class in the wider community.

The Art Workers Quarterly said of the HAIA in 1904 that the HAIA 'is a society for teaching the working classes handicrafts such as wood carving, inlaying, metal repousse, basket weaving, leather work, book binding, and for encouraging these and others such as lace, embroidery spinning, weaving, pottery etc, by means of an annual exhibition'.

In 1910 the Art Craftsman said of the HAIA: 'The personal interest of Queen Alexandra is an indication of the importance of the Association, and her active sympathy with its work in fostering the spirit of artistic craftsmanship was strikingly illustrated by the exhibits from her own school at Sandringham'.

The first of the annual exhibitions took place in July 1885, and in 1888 the exhibition was held for the first time at the Royal Albert Hall. From around 1907 Christmas sales held at Warings Galleries on Sloane Street, London were also organised. By 1890 it is recorded that up to 450 classes were being run throughout the British Isles.

The Objectives of the HAIA were:

� To train the eyes and fingers of its pupils, thereby not only adding to their resources and powers of enjoyment, but increasing their value as workmen and makiing them more fit to earn a livelihood in whatever occupation they may adopt.

� To fill up the idle hours of lads and girls, especially at an age when they have left school, by providing occupation of a kind which will keep them happily employed at home, especially in the evenings. The excellent moral effect on the pupils is one of the most encouraging features of the work of the Association.

� To provide pleasant and sympathetic intercourse between the educated and the poor, and to enable the possessors of Art knowledge and culture to impart their gifts to those who are without either.

� To revive the old handicrafts which once flourished in England, but which had almost died out, and to encourage the labouring classes to take a pride in making their homes beautiful by their own work.

The key metalwork classes associated with the HAIA were:

- The Newlyn Industrial Class in Cornwall;

- The Keswick School of Industrial Arts in the Lake District;

- The Yattendon Class in Berkshire;

- The Newton Class in Cambridge;

- The Fivemiletown Class in County Tyrone, Ireland;

- The Duchess of Sutherlands Cripples Guild (also known as The Potteries Guild) in Staffordshire.

Other metalwork classes associated with the HAIA included: Rainsbury, run by the Rev Iden Hart, Parkstone, Kingston-upon-Thames, Southwold, Kingston Cripples Guild, Holyhead, Haversham in Westmorland, Wilton Industries, and Compton-Greenfield near Bristol. So far little has been uncovered on these classes, however further research is currently being undertaken.

Further Reading:

The Art Workers Quarterly Volume 3 p135-138,

1904 British and Irish Home Arts and Industries 1880-1914 by Janice Helland, Irish Academic Press Dublin 2007.