Arts and Crafts Movement
The Arts and Crafts movement arose as a response to the Industrial
Revolution. In England, particularly, the 1880s were difficult
times economically for the working class and as craftspeople
became increasingly concerned with man’s dependence
on machines and mass production.
The Arts and Crafts movement, which developed under the influence
of people such as William Morris, was a reaction against capitalism,
mass design and manufacturing. Morris was intent on rediscovering
the relationships between organic materials, the craftsperson's
working process and aesthetic form.
Arts and Crafts style is characterized by simplicity, the
inclusion of irregularity, sturdiness and supreme craftsmanship.
The artists of this time were focused on creating designs
that were both aesthetically pleasing, functional, and well-designed.
The Arts and Crafts movement spread from Britain to the rest
of Europe and then to the Americas. In 1911, Gustav Stickley,
one of the central figures in the American Arts and Crafts
movement, founded a utopian community based on the ideals
of simple living and social equality. His vision was to "achieve
a world whose environment would be determined by beauty and
necessity, harmoniously joined."
The Maltwood's "Vanity Table," in the style of
Frank Lloyd Wright, shows the clear structural lines and functional
design characteristic of the Arts and Crafts period.
The marble-topped oak washstand has many elements typical
of the American Arts and Crafts movement. It displays the
skill and craftsmanship of the artist working by hand and
the floral ceramic design incorporates Art Nouveau inspiration.
The Maltwood’s ‘Lounge Chair’ design, crafted
in white oak, is almost an icon of the early Arts and Crafts
period. The joinery methods, the solid design and the simple
spindle slats are characteristic of this era.
The ‘China Cabinet,’ designed and built in late
19th century Britain, also shows strong elements of Arts and
Crafts influence in its linear paneling and stained glass
Stansky. Redesigning the World. Princeton University Press,
1985. Hewitt. Gustav Stickley's Craftsman Farms. Syracuse University