Extraordinary Arts and Crafts Furniture
Gustav Stickley’s Craftsman furniture-stout, rectilinear designs pared of ornament and built in solid wood with exposed joinery-is the most widely recognized American example of the Arts and Crafts style. Hundreds of thousands of pieces in a similar vein were cranked out in factories across the northeast and Midwest during the first decade and a half of the 20th century. Yet the Arts and Crafts movement was far from monolithic in style. Its proponents spanned the globe and produced furniture in a spectrum of styles. From John Scott Bradstreet in Minneapolis to Ernest Gimson in the English countryside and Josef Hoffmann in Vienna, Arts and Crafts designers created furniture that would seem to have little in common with mainstream Mission style pieces. Yet all these disparate makers shared a common inspiration, the English designer, craftsman and writer William Morris. Morris’s philosophy, laid out in his writings but also expressed through the architecture, crafts and decorative arts created by his firm, Morris & Company, provided the impetus and the roadmap for the Arts and Crafts movement.
This audio slideshow presents the work of some of the less familiar-but quite extraordinary-designers and makers of the Arts and Crafts movement.
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