Monday, February 5, 2007

Aesthetic Movement: US: Craftsman Movement

The Aesthetic Movement quickly spread to the United States from England through the followers of William Morris and others. As a response to the excessive ornamentation of the Victorian Era and the analogous of mass production during the Industrial Revolution, the Craftsman Movement strived to redefine the taste of design in America. It continued the ideas of vernacular design from the Gothic Revival while removing heavy decoration and replacing it with organic, clean, simple, lines and forms. The Bungalow style became the popular design of residential homes, characterized by “ a one-story house…with porches, overhanging eaves, walls of shingle or stucco, and minimal ornamental detail,“(A History of Interior Design). Examples of the style were seen in the architecture of Charles Summer Greene, Henry Mather Greene, and Bernard R. Maybeck.
Guilds were formed to advocate the idea that real artist beauty was being lost in the machine produced goods and the uniqueness of hand made goods was being forgotten. Using these goods in homes was first introduced by Gustav Stickley, with Mission style furniture characterized by “ simple furniture, generally of massive form and made in solid oak, assembled with craftsmanly wooden joints, iron hardware, leather cushions, and other details. Ornamentation was minimal or non-existent,” (A History of Interior Design). After popularity of Stickley’s designs grew, soon factories were producing Craftsmen furniture as well as other goods. References were made to the past in the form of historically imitations that were being produced. While exotic influences came from Japan as artifacts were collected and displayed in homes.
While tasted had mature since the Victorian style, the Craftsman Movement soon became “art for art’s sake”. Interiors and exteriors were covered in “jarring colors and patterns;” according to R.W. Edis in Healthy Furniture and Decoration, that might cause “nervous irritability”. The artistic overflow of the style then paved the way for the next movement Art Nouveau. However the Aesthetic Movement had an enormous impact on design for years to come and is the inspiration for most modern design. How do you feel the Craftsman Movement in the United States has impacted design today?


RCRecker said...

I think that it’s interesting how the arts and craft style came from so many different places to become its own. This is my favorite design style because of the natural look and unique designs many different houses and furniture that is still seen today used this design I feel that because of the use of hands the style has more character then any other style. The arts and crafts movement brought unique designs and people were using their hands instead of machinery to manufactory furniture and other items. The long slender designs and use of lots of wood was unique. Horizontal and vertical lines are uniformed giving an organic but elegant appearance.

algrun2 said...

I believe the Art's and Craft's movement not only introduced a new style of design, but also introduced a whole new sense of art as well. Art's and Craft is the style which is clearly distinctive as the rebel against classicism. This stlye broke away from all traditional designs and antiquity and produced art purley for the public. Though most of this design was simplistic and less excessive, it was a popular trend and cetralized around function. The Art's and Craft's movement was a step in the door towards modernism and a very neccesary peirod needed in order to achieve that modernism.

Mary Margaret said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Margaret said...

The Arts and Crafts movement not only began a new, and returded form of art and construction, but an entirely new way of life. It was a return to simplicity, and more importantly the maker and the craft, rather than the number of end products. This not only improved the construction methods of original work but allowed for craftsmen to form guilds and reinforce the importance of their craft. In return the American public responded with an appreciation and higher demand for the product. In the long run, the Industrial movement continued to hold strong and is still the more popular forms of manufacturing for the sole purpose of the economy. The Arts and Crafts that still exist today remain a precious form of artwork, and those who continue to support the movement are remain indulged in the importance and appreciation of the lifestyle as well.
Submitted by Jordan Powell

This blog is intended for the interior design students in the college of design at the University of Kentucky. It was created with the intent to present students with information, providing them with a channel for contemplation and discussion.