Crusaders for art and design were men and women who were prepared to give their energy, talents, and oftimes money, to encourage young artists and designers to adventure in their chosen fields and generally to raise the status of the ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ arts and their creators.
Many of these crusaders have largely been forgotten, such as John Gloag, who was here, there, and everywhere in support of the cause. Other Crusaders are remembered but for other reasons, such as Pevsner, the surveyor of British architectural heritage who for some years had been seen as the guru of industrial design. Gordon Russell, celebrated as the Cotswold furniture designer is altogether less known as a Director of the Council of Industrial Design. Whilst in the ‘fine’ arts Anton Zwemmer, whose Covent Garden shop is now a hairdressers, has largely been erased from memory as when he had been the king bee of a beehive frequented by artists and designers alike coming to find out the latest cultural news from the Continent to be gleaned from his magazines and books.
Crusaders of Art and Design aims to restore a number of reputations by recording their contributions to the cause.