Arts & Crafts Furniture

Arts & Crafts Furniture

SKU# 070491

From Classic to Contemporary

Jonathan Binzen
Kevin Rodel


  • Product # 070491
  • Type Hardcover
  • ISBN 978-1-56158-359-1
  • Published Date 2005
  • Dimensions 9-1/4 x 10-7/8
  • Pages 240
  • Photos color photos
  • Drawings and drawings
Arts and Crafts is more than a style of furniture, It is an enduring furniture style that honors the tradition of fine craftsmanship and attention to detail.

This book gives you a fresh look at the history and influences that resulted in beautiful, functional pieces designed to enhance the interiors of classic Arts & Crafts homes. From William Morris and the roots of the movement, through Gustav Stickley, the Prairie School and including contemporary pieces, Arts & Crafts Furniture celebrates classic furniture and the craftsmen who made it.

Written by a well-known maker of Craftsman-style furniture and a woodworking journalist, this book will enlighten you about the design and construction of both historical and contemporary Craftsman furniture.

Arts & Crafts Furniture brings you:
  • Nearly 500 color photos of examples of the Arts & Crafts style
  • A comprehensive look at the design and construction of furniture from classic to modern -- covering the entire movement: American, British, Continental
  • Information not only about the obvious personalities but also about other significant designers and makers, including contemporary individuals and firms making this type of furniture.
  • An extensive list of Arts & Crafts resources and a full bibliography.
About the authors
Kevin Rodel, one of the foremost makers of hand-crafted craftsman furniture, has been making custom furniture in Maine since 1978. He and his wife, Susan Mack, have been operating their own custom furniture business, Mack and Rodel since 1986. Their work has been featured in woodworking magazines and books on Craftsman interiors. Kevin Rodel has contributed articles on craftsman style and techniques to Fine Woodworking and Home Furniture. Bbr>

Jonathan Binzen is a writer and photographer specializing in furniture and architecture. A former senior editor at Fine Woodworking magazine, he writes for such publications as This Old House and American Craft. After studying literature, art, and architecture as an undergraduate at Harvard, he worked as a cabinetmaker and a teacher of woodworking.
Table of Contents

1. Furniture of the Arts and Crafts Movement
Social Reform, Design Revolution
Hallmarks of the Arts and Crafts Style
How the Movement Spread

2. William Morris: The Roots of Arts and Crafts
Furnishing the Red House
Morris & Co.: A Guild Goes into Business
gallery: The Art of Morris & Co.

3. Arts and Crafts in the Country: Gimson, the Barnsleys, and the Cotswolds Vernacular
London Calling
To the Cotswold Countryside
The Cotswold Legacy
gallery: Cotswolds Country

4. English Architects and Designers
A. H. Mackmurdo and the Awakening of Arts and Crafts
C. F. A. Voysey: Refined Simplicity
The Artful Interior: M. H. Baillie Scott
Liberty's and Heal & Son: Commercial Arts and Crafts in England
gallery: England's Professional Caste

5. Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style
Mackintosh: Style Innovator
Mackintosh Emerges
The Glasgow Style's Other Contributors
Mackintosh on the Wane
gallery: The Glasgow Style

6. Continental Europe
Arts and Crafts in Austria
Ruskin and Morris in Deutschland
Ernst Ludwig's Legacy
gallery: The Vienna Secession

7. Gustav Stickley and His Brothers
Origins of the Style
Essence of the Craftsman Style
Stickley's Impact
Which Is the Real Stickley Furniture?
gallery: The Stickley Family

8. Handmade in a Factory: Mass Production in Grand Rapids
The Disappearing Artisan
Mission in the Midwest
Charles P. Limbert's European Influence
Joseph McHugh's Mission Furniture
gallery: Factory Furniture

9. The Prairie School
Arts and Crafts in the Windy City
Louis Sullivan, Mentor to the Prairie School
Frank Lloyd Wright and the Organic Ideal
George Mann Niedecken, Interior Architect
Syncopated Ornament: George Washington Maher
Prairie Partners: Purcell and Elmslie
gallery: Prairie Arts & Crafts

10. Utopian Communities: American Furniture and Social Reform
Byrdcliffe's Aristocratic Utopia
Elbert Hubbard and the Marketing of Utopia
Rose Valley's Suburban Gothic
gallery: Utopian Furniture

11. American Innovators
Charles Rohlfs and the Decorated Plank
John Scott Bradstreet: Fine Furniture on the Frontier
Arts and Crafts Climax: The Interiors of Greene and Greene
gallery: Innovators in the States

12. The Revival of Arts and Crafts Furniture
The Sudden Death of Arts and Crafts
The Aftermath in England
Danish Modern: Ruskin Revved Up
The Dean of American Designer-Makers
gallery: Arts and Crafts Revival



Photo Credits

In 1972, Robert Judson Clark, a professor of art at Princeton University, curated an exhibition and edited an accompanying catalog that shook the Arts and Crafts movement from a 60-year slumber. In its salad days -- roughly 1888 to 1910 -- the Arts and Crafts movement was a vibrant artistic, social, and philosophical phenomenon of international scope. But when the end of the era arrived, it was sudden and seemingly irreversible.

The Arts and Crafts movement was forward-looking in many ways -- vitally concerned with the welfare of workers and with the integration of all forms of art -- but it also yearned for a return to a preindustrial age of careful handcraftsmanship.

With the rise of the Bauhaus-bred International Style in architecture and design, which envisioned a future brightened by technology and an art stripped of all evidence of the past, the Arts and Crafts movement was brushed aside and made to seem utterly irrelevant. For many years, it was.

Since the Princeton show, however, hundreds of books and thousands of articles and essays have been written on Arts and Crafts topics; scores of exhibitions have been held; the value of Arts and Crafts furniture and other objects has increased enormously; and a revival of the style -- and the lifestyle -- has blossomed among craftsmen in a range of media.

The timing of this resurgence of interest in the Arts and Crafts movement is telling -- it coincides with a wider revitalization of crafts in the United States. Only a small fraction of contemporary crafts are made in the Arts and Crafts style, but the revival as a whole -- which rose out of the disaffection with established career paths and lifestyles in the 1960s and 1970s -- is in many ways an exact parallel with the Arts and Crafts era, the original back-to-the-land movement.

In another echo of the original movement, major American furniture manufacturers have again embraced the style as they did during the Arts and Crafts movement's first flourishing. Today you can find Stickleyesque furniture in every department store and Sunday supplement. Despite the wide exposure, Arts and Crafts furniture remains largely misunderstood in the United States. For many, Stickley and his powerful, reductivist furniture stand for the whole broad movement.

But the Arts and Crafts movement refuses to be boiled down to one or two -- or ten -- signature pieces. The Arts and Crafts furniture produced in Vienna, Glasgow, and Pasadena was as different as strudel, haggis, and tacos. Our main purpose in writing this book is to present the entire spectrum of Arts and Crafts furniture so that we might better understand the movement's diversity and its originality.
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