Arts and Crafts furniture pictures show off the quality and craftsmanship present in the style. Arts and Crafts furniture is a wide-ranging category of pieces created during the Arts and Crafts Movement, which took place during the last part of the 19th century and early 20th century. It is a movement that was primarily centered in the United Kingdom and America, with some Canadian and Australian input as well.
The movement was pervasive throughout the interior design world and influenced everything from architecture to decorative arts, cabinet making, gardening, fabric, lighting and art. Some important names to remember from this time period are:
- William Morris
- Charles Robert Ashbee
- Elbert Hubbard
- Charles Rennie Mackintosh
- Frank Lloyd Wright
- Greene & Greene
- Edward Prior
Today the style is still popular with designers and homeowners because of its simple, clean lines, solid craftsmanship and quality. The accompanying arts and crafts furniture pictures reveal how easy it is to incorporate these pieces into either contemporary or traditional interiors.
Arts and Crafts Ideals
The Arts and Crafts movement was born out of the Industrial Revolution when mass produced goods took over the furniture and design market. With terrible working conditions in factories and poor quality of goods produced in such facilities, factory-made goods were denounced by several writers, philosophers, architects and designers of the time.
This group envisioned returning to the medieval guild-style of workmanship where the workers would produce hand-crafted goods with fine craftsmanship. They believed that this would create a society where design was for the people and by the people, where furnishings, clothing, art, architecture and design would enhance rather than detract from people lives, and the craftsmen could take pride in their work and be paid an honest wage for their work.
Arts and Crafts Style
The aesthetic ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement were taken from several different sources including:
- Medieval European
The forms were often angular and rectilinear with decorative motifs that referenced Islamic and medieval designs. One of the most prolific and popular designers during this period, William Morris, became famous for his design motifs that included birds, flowers, and other naturally influenced designs.
American Arts and Crafts Furnishings
In the United States during the 1890s, a group of influential architects and designers in Boston who were determined to bring the Arts and Crafts reform movement to America, organized an exhibition of hand-crafted goods. The exhibition opened at Copley Hall in Boston on April 5, 1897, featuring more than 1000 pieces created by 160 craftsmen and women. Following the exhibition, The Society of Arts and Crafts was created on June 28 of the same year with a mandate to "develop and encourage higher standards in the handicrafts."
As opposed to England where the Arts and Crafts movement was supported by the wealthy, in America the movement was more directed toward the middle class. Craftsmen such as Gustav Stickley believed that the simple and refined decorative aesthetic of Arts and Crafts would create a more rational society that took pride in the design of their home.
Stickley is one of the most well-known and continually revered members of the American Arts and Crafts furniture movement. He was an architect and a furniture maker who believed that middle class consumers deserved affordable, good-looking furniture. Different from his British counterparts, Stickley utilized factory methods to craft the basic components of each piece of furniture and then had craftsmen finish and assemble the piece.
These furnishings were extremely sturdy, well made, but mass produced, which meant a better price for the consumer.
You may have heard a furniture classification referred to as "Mission Style", which is simply another moniker for Arts and Crafts Furniture. The word "mission" refers to the influence of traditional furnishings from the American Southwest, which, interestingly enough, had many similar style qualities to the early English Arts and Crafts pieces. Mission style furnishings were popular in the Southwest and Far West because they could be easily incorporated into the Spanish colonial architecture that already existed in these areas.
Browse Arts and Crafts Furniture Pictures
If you are looking for authentic antique Arts and Crafts furnishings, keep in mind that high-quality pieces will be expensive. Alternatively there are a host of beautiful reproductions on the market. For example, the Stickley furniture company continues to craft the same pieces today as they did more than a hundred years ago.
Check out the following websites to purchase Arts and Crafts style furnishings.