Decorative arts movement with a Japanese influence, which flourished in Britain from c.1870 - a precursor to ART NOVEAU. The movement was recognised in the USA but not in France or elsewhere in Europe. It overlapped with the ARTS AND CRAFTS MOVEMENT although it had begun to decline by the late 1880s.
Happened in the second half of 19th century (nobody is quite sure why) and lasted until WWI and maybe even longer. Activists of this movement were mostly artists or those who wished to be artists, spoke in a pompous manner and dressed themselves rather strangely. However, they prepared the society for 20th century phenomena like beatnics and hippies.
The motto of this late 19th century movement which began in Britain was “art for art's sake.” As the movement swept through America, people started to believe that beautiful objects should exist for the enjoyment of everyone, not only the elite. It was thought that a beautiful environment could actually enhance one's quality of life. Through his interior designs and mass production of beautiful glass objects, Louis Comfort Tiffany exemplified the spirit of the movement.