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Contemporary Applied Arts (CAA) (Crafts Centre of Great Britain; British Crafts Centre), London



1948; 1972; 1987




Not for Profit Society / Public Sector Organisation


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Contemporary Applied Arts, which it has been called since 1987, previously British Crafts Centre, from 1972 until 1986 and originally the Crafts Centre of Great Britain, from 1948 until 1972, is a members’ selling organisation, the idea of which, was developed while planning the future of the crafts during the Second World War. As a result, five societies – the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, the Red Rose Guild, the Society of Scribes and Illuminators, the Senefelder Club (devoted to lithography) and the Society of Wood Engravers – came together to create the Crafts Centre of Great Britain, with John Farleigh (1900-1965) as its Chair between 1948 and 1964. The Centre opened as a showcase for the crafts in April 1950. Its premises at 16-17 Hay Hill, just off Berkeley Square /  Piccadilly, London were fitted out stylishly by the Russian-born architect Sergei George Kadleigh (1915-1998). In 1953 the Centre became a trading body, as opposed to merely a showroom. In 1967, the exhibition space moved to 43 Earlham Street, Covent Garden. In 1970  Viscount Weymouth, heir to the  Marquess of Bath  converted a “pin-table saloon” at Longleat House, Wiltshire, into a shop for the Craft Centre of Great Britain. Longleat Gallery was designed by Alan Irvine and was the Craft Centre's only permanent location outside London.

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