Things to Love About the Arts and Crafts Movement

Typical arts and crafts style furniture. Photo: whistlepunch - http://www.flickr.com/photos/whistlepunch/3405847614/
Typical arts and crafts style furniture. Photo: whistlepunch – http://www.flickr.com/ photos/whistlepunch/ 3405847614/

As I get older, I realize that I am becoming more and more like my mom. I used to like fussy Victorian style and then Rococo and Baroque, which went all downhill when I moved to a small place and discovered IKEA.

Truth is I am getting more streamlined in my old age. However, despite my liking of IKEA, I am not modern. I like clean lines but decandently patterned textiles. I love architectual detailing, scrolls, trims, mouldings but just a little here and there. One style I am slowly falling in love with, is the Arts and Crafts style.

In doing a little research I find out I really like the English definition over the American, which includes a bit of social commentary as well as decorative influences. This works well with my philosophy that a persons nest is more than just a place to hang your hat. It’s another skin that reflects who you are.

The Arts and Crafts movement was a deviation from the Victorian and Edwardian fashions of the late 19th to early 20th century. Author John Ruskin was highly influential. With industrialization in full swing, the followers of the Arts and Crafts movement decided it was preferable to return to a previous time when things were produced by individual craftsmen who took pride in their work. Art, architecture and domestic crafts of this following are very ornate and rich.

The who’s-who of influential people in the Arts and Crafts movement include:

What is facinating about the Arts and Crafts movement is that it is a total lifestyle. There are specific philosophers, architects, artists, gardeners, domestic craftsmen, clothing designers and writers who all cater to this style.

Within the Arts and Crafts style there is a struggle. On the one hand, mass production, made possible by industrialization, make beautiful objects available to the average person. On the other hand, industrialization and mass production was thought to be the center of contemparary evils and a loss of creativity. The movement did not strive to exclude people but hand crafted goods cost significantly more.

Another componant of the Arts and Crafts style is the Pre-Raphealite artists. These beautiful, watery, paintings usually feature mythical or medieval subject matter and compliment the ornate, architectural woodwork and stained glass often used in homes and buildings in this period.

A key focus of the decorative arts, interior design and architecture of the Movement is on the texture of materials. In patterns on textiles and wallpapers, shapes are exxagerated and colors are rich and saturated.

The thought process and ideas of the Arts and Crafts movement led to other movements and styles as well including:

The Arts and Crafts Society and The William Morris Society connect people are active in preservation and continuation of the aesthetics and ideals of the Movement.

Some examples of art and architecture of the period can be seen at the following sites: Richard Hatch House, Buffalo NY 73 Johnson Park, Buffalo NY Salem, MA Gothic architecure in central Maine Many gothic revival homes located in Virginia http://www.adrianarchitecture.com/gothic-revival.html Gothic revival examples in Adrian, Michigan http://www.gustavstickley.com/ Antique dealer with pictures of period pieces. Maybe I should barter a redesign for a coffee table? http://www.craftsmanhome.com/ More American in style http://www.fitzdecarts.com/english.htm Antique English furniture http://www.johnalexanderltd.com/ Antique English furniture http://www.artfurniture.co.uk/ Antique English furniture http://www.achome.co.uk/antiques/antiques.htm Antique English furniture

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