American Craftsman

American Arts and Crafts Movement and American Craftsman style, is a style in American architecture, interior design, landscape design, applied arts and the decorative arts, which had its beginning in the last years of the 19th century. As a comprehensive design and art movement was popular until the 1930s. In addition, there have been numerous projects where the style was revived and taken up in the decorative arts and architecture to the present day.

  • 4.1 Craftsman architects
  • 4.2 Common architectural design features

British origins

The American Craftsman style has its origins in the British Arts and Crafts movement, which was founded as a philosophy and an artistic style of William Morris in the early 1860s. The British movement was a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, in its disregard for the individual worker and belittling of human labor. This was an attempt to add value to the craft again and highlight the value of manual labor towards mass production. The Arts and Crafts movement was a reaction to the eclectic, overloaded aesthetics of the Victorian era. It was an anti- Victorian movement, with William Morris as a staunch socialist. However, the expensive production and the expensive building materials and the use of cost-intensive techniques of hand-made, stated that the newly created works of the movement were actually only reserved for a wealthy clientele, a seeming contradiction to its roots in the materialist dialectic and socialist philosophy. The philosophy and aesthetics of the English Arts and Crafts movement inspired a variety of related but conceptually distinct design movements throughout Europe and the American Craftsman movement in North America.

Development in the United States

While the British movement was a reaction to the Victorian Era, the Arts and Crafts style came just at the moment in the United States, as the Victorian era came to an end. The American Arts and Crafts Movement shared the philosophy of the reform movement and encouraged originality, simplicity of form, use of local natural materials, and the visibility of the craft. Unlike the Arts and Crafts Movement in Europe and the modest homes of the rapidly growing American middle class were upgraded in America through it and it was the Craftsman Bungalow style.


Boston Exhibition 1897

In the late 1890s, a group of influential architects, designers and educators from Boston decided to design reforms begun in Britain by William Morris, to bring to America. Their first meeting was to organize an exhibition of contemporary art craft objects and place in January 1897 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston ( MFA) instead. At this meeting were on the spot: trustees of museums including General Charles Loring, William Sturgis Bigelow and Denman Ross; Art collectors and patrons, writer and art critic, as Sylvester Baxter for the Boston Evening Transcript; and artists and architects, such as Ross Turner and Ralph Clipson Sturgis. They managed the opening of the first American Arts and Crafts Exhibition in April 1897 in Copley Hall with over 1000 objects made ​​by 160 craftsmen, half of whom were female. Some supporters of the exhibition were: the founder of Harvard 's School of Architecture Langford Warren, social reformer Mrs. Richard Morris Hunt; Arthur Astor Carey and Edwin Mead and graphic designer Will Bradley. There in Boston recognized consumer and the manufacturer, the technical and aesthetic potential of the Arts and Crafts style of the applied arts and that was the beginning of the process of design reform.

Society of Arts and Crafts

The exhibition success brought the formation of the Society of Arts and Crafts in June 1897 with a mandate to " develop and promote higher standards in the craft " out. The 21 founders, including Charles Elliot Norton, put the emphasis on the relationship of artists and designers to the world of trade, to encourage them to produce works with workmanship and design of the highest quality.

The Society of Arts and Crafts mandates which soon expanded into a credo Which read:

"This Society which incorporated for the purpose of promo ting artistic work in all branches of handicraft. It hopes to bring Designers and Workmen into mutually helpful relations, and to Encourage workmen to execute designs of Their Own. It Endeavors to stimulate in workmen to appreciation of the dignity and value of good design; to counteract the popular impatience of Law and Form, and the desire for over- ornamentation and specious originality. It will insist upon the necessity of sobriety and restraint, or ordered arrangement, of due regard for the relation in between the shape of an object and its use, and of harmony and fitness in the decoration put upon it. "

"This society was founded for the purpose of promoting artistic creation in all branches of the craft. It is intended to bring designers and workers in mutually useful relationships and to encourage artisans to put their own designs, they encourage appreciation of the dignity and the value of good design to modern impatience and the desire for overloaded ornamentation and apparent originality counteract. The Company shall be used for the need of simplicity and restraint, taking into account the relationship between the shape of an object and its use. "

The Craftsman

In the United States the Arts and Crafts style built locally by hand objects made ​​of wood, glass and metal, simple and elegant. In architecture, it was the response to both the opulence of Victorian architecture as well as the increasingly widespread mass production of housing and integrates a visible sturdy structure with clean lines and natural materials. The name of the movement American Craftsman came from the popular magazine The Craftsman, founded in 1901 by the philosopher, designer, furniture maker and editor Gustav Stickley. The magazine presented house and furniture designs by Harvey Ellis, the Greene and Greene company, and others. The designs, influenced by the ideals of the British movement were inspired by specific American precursors such as Shaker furniture, the Mission Revival style, and the Anglo- Japanese style. The emphasis on the originality of the artist / craftsman led to the later design concept of the 1930's, Art Deco.

Craftsman architecture design

Various developments in American domestic architecture of the period are not only due to changes in taste and style, but also to the shift of patronage from the upper to middle class. The American Victorian typically has the form of a two-story square house with a hipped roof, hidden behind a variety of two -storey bays with gables as well as octagonal or round turrets and all-around porches he presents a complex facade. Typically, the basic square of the house was supplemented by a rear wing with its own entrance and staircase, where the kitchen, pantry, laundry room on the first floor and the rooms of the servants were housed on the second floor. Equipped with low-quality woodwork and hardware, as well as significantly smaller bedrooms and lower ceiling heights, embodied the Victorian servants' wing of the opinion of the aristocratic class in the Old World about the class differences.

With removal of the large bays, turrets and rear wings, simplifying the porch of the lowering of the ceiling, it is not difficult to see how an American Foursquare is from a house in the American Queen Anne style. The middle-class housewife of the era did not have domestic servants (at least not inherent ) and want much, if not do everything in the household and raising children themselves. These additional roles made ​​it important that the kitchen has been integrated into the main house with easy sight lines to the common areas on the ground floor ( dining and living room ) as well as the backyard. Typically, the utility room of the Victorian era has been replaced by dining room furniture, which often consisted of fitted wardrobes and so local designers gave the opportunity to incorporate wood and glass craftsmanship into the public view of the house.

Another detail, which evolved from the class shift the time was the built-in " dining area " in the kitchen. The Victorian kitchen of the earlier era was the family no view of the daily housework. She had typically had a work table ( with the purpose of appropriate modern countertop ), where the servants ate after the family served the meal and cleaned up the kitchen. The Victorian kitchen had no "right " place to do for a family member to sit, eat, or something else. Again, since the housewife of the Craftsman era was preparing the family meal itself, the Victorian kitchen gave way to a concept called the heart of the family everyday. The dining area was often placed under a window or in a separate alcove and was intended as a meeting place for the family at any time of day or evening, was prepared especially during food.

Craftsman architects

In Southern California, the firm Greene and Greene ( Pasadena, California ), the most renowned practitioners of the original American Craftsman style. Among her projects for Ultimate bungalows include the Gamble House and the Robert R. Blacker House in Pasadena and the Thorsen House in Berkeley - with numerous others in California. Another example in the region of Los Angeles is Lummis House.

In Northern California, the architect Bernard Maybeck with the Swedenborgian Church (San Francisco, CA ), and Julia Morgan Asilomar Conference Grounds and Mills College are known for their well-planned and detailed projects in the Craftsman style. Many other designers and projects represent the style in the region.

In San Diego, California the style was also popular. Architect David Owen Dryden designed and built many Craftsman bungalows in the North Park district (now Dryden Historic District ). Constructed in 1905 by George Marston Marston House in Balboa Park, San Diego was designed by local architect Irving Gill and William Hebbard.

Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most important and prolific architects of houses in the U.S., was one which as an organic architecture consequence of both the American Craftsman style aesthetics as well as his philosophy for quality of middle-class home to the founder of the Prairie School style, design was. Wright's activities included the Victorian style, the Chicago School, American Craftsman, Prairie School, International style and modern movements. The Robie House is an example of his American -inspired Craftsman style Prairie School works.

In the early 1900s, developer Herberg J. Hapgood built a number of Craftsman style homes, many with stucco, on the lakeshore district of Mountain Lakes, New Jersey. The residents were called Lakers, although Hapgood eventually went bankrupt. The houses followed concise styles, including bungalows and chalets.

Common architectural design features

  • Gable roof or hip roof
  • Deep overhanging eaves
  • Exposed rafters or decorative brackets under the eaves
  • Front Porch beneath extension of main roof
  • Tapered, square columns to support the roof
  • 4-in- 1 or 6 -over- 1 double - hung windows
  • Frank Lloyd Wright design elements
  • Handmade stone or woodwork
  • Of materials throughout the building.