At the close of the 19th Century in Britain, the Arts and Crafts Movement was created in response to the dire consequences of the industrial revolution on social ideals and beauty. Industrialization had an effect not only on the amount of goods being produced, but also on the masterful craftsmanship that went into them.
The Arts and Crafts Movement: How it all Started
The History of The Arts and Crafts Movement
Artworks of The Arts & Crafts Movement
The Red House
Morris & Co.
Charles Voysey’s sideboard provides a great example of various aspects of the Arts and Crafts style of furniture. The plain design looks so rustic that it could almost be mistaken for a piece of traditional art. The four legs of the sideboard, even devoid of any decorative features, provide support for its entire weight. At the bottom, rudimentary circular platforms, which likely were purposeful for holding candles, adhere to the non-modern tone of the setting the piece was intended for. The choice of wood for the Arts & Crafts furniture is oak, a frequent selection for this type. It was deduced to showcase the wood grain and also stained to give prominence to the material’s surface. The setup for the sideboard’s storage is straightforward and uncomplicated: it consists of a cupboard with maybe a rack, a table-top, and a shelf affixed to the rear. Virtually nothing about the piece is hidden or complicated. The only decoration on the sideboard is the noticeable dark brass door hinges with heart-shaped edges. The feet of the sideboard seem to be the only aspect that keeps the item as one, strengthening the feeling of stability and robustness, while their round shapes contrast with the other sharp edges. It seems as though the hinges were taken from a church door from the Gothic era and used to make this sideboard, giving it an aged look and hinting at the Middle Ages from where the Arts & Crafts look came from.
If the bungalow is regarded as the ideal Arts & Crafts house, the Gamble House would then be seen as the perfect, extended example. The house, created by the architectural firm belonging to the Greene Brothers who relocated from Massachusetts to California, was crafted for the executive of Procter & Gamble. This structure serves as an example of how the ideologies of simplicity and warmth were transformed into the privilege of the wealthy. This building is still viewed as the finest example of the design work by the Greenes and is often referred to as an example of the Western Stick Style. The Gamble house is in harmony with nature in almost every way. The second-floor porch and the terrace that goes around the front to the back of the house are what exemplify its flattened and wide shape. The olive paint of the shingle siding appears to be almost one with the green trees, with the windows and doorways framed by dark timber. The chocolate-colored coloration spreads over the inside, and is featured in many of the surfaces, creating consistency in between the environment outside and the interior. The stained glass of the front door serves to amplify the sense of balance and unity created within the space, showcasing a design of a Japanese black pine to recognize the dwelling’s location near the Pacific region. The inside of the house creates a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere, while not being flooded with light, which Arts & Crafts homes are known to appreciate. The Greenes designed the house with an exceptional thoughtfulness regarding the structural integrity, connecting the rafters beneath the roof with the edges of the eaves and visibly showcasing the joinery on staircases, beams, and posts inside.
The Kelmscott Press
The Beliefs of the Arts and Crafts Movement
Spread to the United States
The ideas behind British Arts and Crafts were brought to the United States in the 1860s and underwent widespread promotion and discussion through the media in the two decades that followed. In 1897, the inaugural American Arts & Crafts Exhibition opened at Copley Hall in Boston in April, boasting over one thousand works of art crafted by 160 people, with approximately half being female. The success of the craftsman’s gallery led to the formation of the Society of Arts & Crafts on the last day of June, whose mission was to raise standards in handcrafting and stress the need to use appropriate shapes and materials for a specific function in creations. Charles Eliot Norton, who worked as an art history professor at Harvard, was selected as the first president of the SAC. It was just as significant that in 1896, the Arts & Crafts Society, which didn’t have a special name, was formed by Jane Addams at Hull House in Chicago. This was an offshoot of the Progressive Movement, and was meant to educate recent immigrants in useful professions so they could become self-supporting.
Before that time, Americans aiming for reform had already become inspired by the mutualist attitude of the Arts & Crafts. In 1895, Elbert Hubbard, a bibliophile and chattering former dealer of soaps who had gone to England and absorbed the philosophies of William Morris, established the Roycroft movement of artisans in East Aurora, New York. Over the course of the next two decades, Hubbard’s combination of metalworkers, furniture makers, leather artisans and, naturally, printers and bookbinders, would become one of the fiercest proponents of the movement in the United States until his demise on the Lusitania in May 1915. Utopian societies focused on the Arts & Crafts movement were created in places such as Rose Valley, Pennsylvania, and the Byrdcliffe Colony in Woodstock, New York. In the year 1907, Gustav Stickley created a vocational school for young males named Craftsman Farms located in Parsippany, New Jersey to enable students to experience an Arts & Crafts atmosphere. However, it ended up as a financial flop and Stickley stretched out his family’s residence in the structures.