Monday, February 3, 2014

The Arts and Crafts Movement

Selected info from wikipedia....
The Arts and Crafts Movement was an international design movement that flourished between 1860 and 1910, especially in the second half of that period,[1] continuing its influence until the 1930s.[2] It was led by the artist and writer William Morris (1834–1896) during the 1860s,[1] and was inspired by the writings of John Ruskin (1819–1900) and Augustus Pugin (1812–1852), although the term "Arts and Crafts" was not coined until 1887, when it was first used by T. J. Cobden-Sanderson at a preliminary meeting of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society.[3]
The movement developed first and most fully in the British Isles,[2] but spread across the British Empire and to the rest of Europe and North America.[4] It was largely a reaction against the perceived impoverished state of thedecorative arts at the time and the conditions in which they were produced.[5] It stood for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often applied medieval, romantic or folk styles of decoration. It advocated economic and social reform and has been said to be essentially anti-industrial.[5][6]
In the United States, the terms American Craftsman or Craftsman style are often used to denote the style of architecture, interior design, and decorative arts that prevailed between the dominant eras of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, or approximately the period from 1910 to 1925.
In Canada, the term Arts and Crafts predominates, but Craftsman is also recognized.[27]
While the Europeans tried to recreate the virtuous crafts being replaced by industrialisation, Americans tried to establish a new type of virtue to replace heroic craft production: well-decorated middle-class homes. They claimed that the simple but refined aesthetics of Arts and Crafts decorative arts would ennoble the new experience of industrial consumerism, making individuals more rational and society more harmonious. The American Arts and Crafts movement was the aesthetic counterpart of its contemporary political philosophy, progressivism. Characteristically, when the Arts and Crafts Society began in October 1897 in Chicago, it was at Hull House, one of the first Americansettlement houses for social reform.[28]
In the United States, the Arts and Crafts style initiated a variety of attempts to reinterpret European Arts and Crafts ideals for Americans. These included the "Craftsman"-style architecture, furniture, and other decorative arts such as designs promoted by Gustav Stickley in his magazine, The Craftsman and designs produced on the Roycroft campus as publicized in Elbert Hubbard's The Fra. Both men used their magazines as a vehicle to promote the goods produced with the Craftsman workshop in Eastwood, NY and Elbert Hubbard's Roycroft campus in East Aurora, NY. A host of imitators of Stickley's furniture (the designs of which are often mislabelled the "Mission Style") included three companies established by his brothers.

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