Lounge Chair
Arts & Crafts
Circa 1900
White Oak

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 design.

Cordelia Horsburg
Curatorial Assistant


Stansky. Redesigning the World. Princeton University Press, 1985. Hewitt. Gustav Stickley's Craftsman Farms. Syracuse University Press, 2001.