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Article

Alan Crawford

Informal movement in architecture and the decorative arts that championed the unity of the arts, the experience of the individual craftsman, and the qualities of materials and construction in the work itself.

The Arts and Crafts Movement developed in the second half of the 19th century and lasted well into the 20th, drawing its support from progressive artists, architects and designers, philanthropists, amateurs, and middle-class women seeking work in the home. They set up small workshops apart from the world of industry, revived old techniques, and revered the humble household objects of pre-industrial times. The movement was strongest in the industrializing countries of northern Europe and in the USA, and it can best be understood as an unfocused reaction against industrialization. Although quixotic in its anti-industrialism, it was not unique; indeed it was only one among several late 19th-century reform movements, such as the Garden City movement, vegetarianism, and folksong revivals, that set the Romantic values of nature and folk culture against the artificiality of modern life....

Article

Leslie Freudenheim

(b Ellisburg, NY, 1859; d Burlingame, CA, Jan 21, 1896).

American architect. Despite his tragically brief career and six Neo-classical buildings, A. Page Brown will be remembered for his Ferry Building, the centerpiece of San Francisco’s waterfront; that city’s Swedenborgian Church with its Mission-style chairs, both icons of the American Arts and Crafts Movement; and his Mission-style California building for the 1893 Chicago Exposition, a structure that helped establish Mission and Mediterranean styles as appropriate for both domestic and commercial designs throughout the Southwest.

After briefly attending Cornell University, Brown spent three years with the New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White. By December 1884, after two years studying European architecture, he opened his own New York practice. Commissions in San Francisco from the Crocker family in 1889 led him to open a West Coast office. He supervised the completion of the first Grace Cathedral (1890, replaced), designed the city’s second skyscraper and, in February 1892, his Mission Revival style design won the competition for the California State Building for the ...

Article

Robert M. Craig

The term ‘Bungalow’, outside the USA, connotes a generic, one-storey, vernacular dwelling. The building type developed into one of the most frequently adapted house forms in the world—it is the most popular residential style in American architecture (rivalled only by the ranch house)—and it is probably the only type of dwelling known, by name and form, on every continent of the world. The term derives from a simple structure of mud, thatch, and bamboo: a Bengalese hut or ‘banggolo’. Its Anglo-American roots spring from a simple peasant cottage of the 17th century and from later colonial permutations of indigenous dwellings at the far reaches of the empire: the Anglo-Indian hut, for instance. The early bungalow was a square dwelling surrounded by a verandah, which might be partially enclosed, that developed into rural or suburban domestic forms. The bungalow eventually took on symbolic associations with a freer or simpler way of life, increasingly employed for summer cottages, beach houses, and country or suburban residences....

Article

Arnold Berke

(b Pittsburgh, PA, April 4, 1869; d Santa Fe, NM, January 8, 1958).

American architect and designer. Raised in St Paul, MN, Mary (Elizabeth Jane) Colter graduated in 1890 from the California School of Design in San Francisco, then taught mechanical drawing at a St Paul high school and contributed to local Arts and Crafts societies as lecturer and craftswoman. These pursuits nourished Colter’s love of Native American art and the Southwest, interests also fostered by her first professional projects—the interior of the Indian Building at the Santa Fe Railway’s Albuquerque station (1902) and the Grand Canyon’s Hopi House (1904), modeled on an Indian village. She completed both for her lifelong employer, the Fred Harvey Co., the famous purveyor of travel services, which hired her full-time in 1910.

Colter designed hotels, train stations, tourist attractions, restaurants and shops—at the Grand Canyon and along the Santa Fe line. She based her designs on Native American and Hispanic cultures and on the western landscape, and, through rigorous research, fashioned environments to charm the leisure traveler. The most dramatic is the Watchtower (...

Article

Robert M. Craig

Early 20th-century American manifestation of the late 19th-century international Arts and Crafts Movement and similarly grounded on the ideas of John Ruskin and William Morris. The Craftsman Movement married Ruskin’s concept of an architectural morality with Morris’s ideal of art as quintessentially “doing a right thing well,” and called for artists to embrace the idea that the worth of an object is inherent in the pleasure in its making. Led in America by furniture maker Gustav(e) Stickley, the movement preached honesty in materials, elimination and simplification in design (as a reflection of a simpler life), and an integration of art and beauty into domestic life. A non-elitist craft of building embodying values of handiwork and “pleasure in labor” would result in a democratic architecture of good character available to the Everyman.

Stickley designed and manufactured furniture, and published designs for houses as appropriate settings for his honest and straightforward oak tables and chairs and built-in bookcases. He illustrated his work and point of view in ...

Article

David Gebhard

American architectural partnership formed in 1893 by Charles (Sumner) Greene (b Brighton, OH, 12 Oct 1868; d Carmel, CA, 11 June 1957) and his brother Henry (Mather) Greene (b Brighton, OH, 23 Jan 1870; d Pasadena, CA, 2 Oct 1954). Both studied at the Manual Training School of Washington University, St Louis, MO, Charles entering in 1883 and Henry in 1884. There they were not only taught woodworking and carpentry but were introduced to the ideals of John Ruskin and William Morris, to which the school strongly adhered. In 1888 they entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. On completion of the two-year architectural course, Henry entered the office of Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge in Boston, MA, and Charles became a draughtsman with H. Langford Warren. Later Henry worked in the office of Chamberlin & Austin, and Charles with Winslow & Wetherell.

In the early 1890s the Greenes’ parents moved to Pasadena, CA, and suggested that their sons join them in the new and developing city, which they did in ...

Article

(b 1867; d 1925).

American potter and ceramic manufacturer. He was apprenticed in 1882 to the J. and J. G. Low Art Tile Works, Chelsea, MA, where he remained for ten years. At the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, he was very impressed with the high-temperature flambé glazes of the French art pottery created by Auguste Delaherche and Ernest Chaplet, which encouraged Grueby’s own experiments with matt, monochromatic glazes. In 1895 he set up his own factory, the Grueby Faience Co., in Boston, which produced tiles and architectural faience in Greek, medieval and Hispano-Moresque styles, popularized by the Arts and Crafts Movement. From 1897–8 he manufactured a range of vases finished in soft, matt glazes in greens, yellows, ochres and browns, with the ‘Grueby Green’ predominating. Until 1902 the potter George Prentiss Kendrick was largely responsible for the designs, executed in heavily potted stoneware based on Delaherche’s Art Nouveau shapes. Young women were employed to carry out the hand-moulded and incised surface decoration, which consisted mainly of vertical leaf-forms in shallow relief (e.g. stoneware vase, late 19th century; London, V&A). The work was enthusiastically received by the public, and such designers as ...

Article

(b Stockbridge, MA, 1866; d Santa Barbara, CA, June 17, 1915).

American architect. After graduating from Harvard University, he studied with the Boston firm of Andrews & Jacques (1889–91) and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (1892–4), Paris. On returning to the USA, he began his practice in Chicago, where he received various commissions for residential buildings. A representative example is the house (c. 1900) of Edwin S. Fechheimer, Winnetka, IL. This wood-shingled house exhibits flowing interior spaces and an interest in the natural colours and textures of building materials. The subtle contrasts of lightly stained pine beams and panels of coarse beige canvas placed between them provide a sophisticated backdrop for the handmade furniture, pottery and brass decorations, the total ensemble being a collaboration between architect and client. The interior and its contents reflect Higginson’s involvement in the Arts and Crafts Movement. In 1905 he moved to Montecito, CA, and worked in the Santa Barbara area until his death. He built several houses there in the Arts and Crafts style, including the Higginson House (...

Article

E. A. Christensen

(b Bloomington, IL, June 19, 1856; d SS Lusitania, off Co. Cork, May 7, 1915).

American designer. He was initially a successful salesman for the Illinois-based Weller’s Practical Soaps. He settled in East Aurora, near Buffalo, NY, and abandoned selling soap in 1893. During a trip to England the following year, he met William Morris and admired the works of his Kelmscott Press. On returning to East Aurora, Hubbard employed his great showmanship to popularize a simplified version of English Arts and Crafts design for a wide audience. With the help of a local press, he began publishing monthly biographies, Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great (1895–1909), the first two of which treat the lives of George Eliot and John Ruskin. Soon after, he founded the Roycroft Press with the publication of The Philistine (1895–1915), a monthly journal combining popular philosophy, aphorisms and brief preachments with crude Art Nouveau lettering and ornament. The Song of Songs (1895), printed on handmade paper with rough and arty bindings, was the first of many Roycroft books. The press became the centre of the ...

Article

Sally Mills

(b Markesan, WI, Oct 1, 1860; d San Francisco, CA, Feb 19, 1945).

American painter, designer, and teacher. First trained by his architect father, he worked as a freelance illustrator before deciding in 1885 to study painting in Paris. He spent about 15 months at the Académie Julian and exhibited at three Salons before returning to California in 1889. He soon began teaching at the California School of Design (now the San Francisco Art Institute) and in 1896 was promoted to Director. During his 16-year tenure, Mathews reformed the curriculum in line with academic practice in Paris and New York and exerted a powerful influence over hundreds of students. Following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, Mathews left the school, aligning himself with artists, architects, and businessmen eager to rebuild San Francisco. With his wife (and former student), Lucia Kleinhans Mathews (1870–1955), and a partner, John Zeile, he embarked on several ventures: the magazine Philopolis (1906–16) emphasized art and city planning; the Philopolis Press (...

Article

George E. Thomas

(b Wallingford, PA, Nov 1861; d Rose Valley, PA, Oct 15, 1916).

American architect, writer, and designer. Born into a Quaker family and trained in Quaker schools, he studied architecture in the office of Quaker Addison Hutton (1834–1916), and then in the office of Frank Furness, where he was exposed to the ideas that reshaped American modernism at the end of the century. For a time in the 1890s he was drawn to the historicism of Richard Morris Hunt, producing imposing Gothic piles for the children of the Philadelphia industrialists who had commissioned Furness’s ahistorical houses in the previous generation. By 1900, in response to the ideas of the utopian American economist Henry George (1839–97) and William Morris, Price founded two utopian communities: a Single-Tax colony at Arden (1896), DE, and an Arts and Crafts commune at Rose Valley (1901), PA, where he lived until his death. There he developed a regional domestic architectural style that incorporated stucco, local stone, and tile in gable-roofed houses that evoked the local agrarian architecture, but with an abstract directness resulting from the merger of modern form with traditional materials....

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

American pottery manufactory. It was founded in 1880 in Cincinnati, OH, by Maria Longworth Nichols (1849–1932), later Mrs Storer. The Rookwood Pottery originally produced art wares using underglaze painting in coloured slips on greenware. The technique had been adapted in 1878 by M. Louise McLaughlin (1847–1939), who had studied ceramic painting with Nichols in Cincinnati. Rookwood was unprofitable in its early years, but in 1883 William Watts Taylor (1847–1913) was put in charge, and he instituted changes that created a viable art product and established the firm as the USA’s foremost art pottery at the end of the 19th century. Using an earth-tone palette, the artists painted popular subjects on moulded or wheel-thrown objects. Each piece was marked with the company cipher, dated and signed by the artist. The early wares used a dark palette of brown earth tones, but after 1890 the colour palette became lighter. After ...

Article

Mary Ann Smith

(b Osceola, WI, March 9, 1858; d Syracuse, NY, April 20, 1942).

American designer and publisher. During most of the period 1875–99, he worked in various family-owned furniture-manufacturing businesses around Binghamton, NY. He travelled to Europe in the 1890s, seeing work by Arts and Crafts designers. In 1898 he established the Gustave Stickley Company in Eastwood, a suburb of Syracuse, NY. The following year he introduced his unornamented, rectilinear Craftsman furniture inspired by the writings of John Ruskin and William Morris. He adopted a William Morris motto, ‘Als ik kan’ (‘If I can’), as his own and used the symbol of a medieval joiner’s compass as his trademark. In 1903 he dropped the ‘e’ in the spelling of Gustave.

Stickley published The Craftsman Magazine (1901–16), a periodical devoted to the Arts and Crafts Movement (see Craftsman Movement). The first issue was dedicated to Morris, the second to Ruskin. Most issues contained articles and illustrations of Craftsman furniture by Stickley. The periodical contained information on American and foreign designers, Japanese and Native American crafts, manual arts education, socialism, and gardens. The architect ...

Article

Laura Suffield

(b Providence, RI, Feb 14, 1860; d Boston, MA, Dec 29, 1941).

American typographer, printer, and graphic designer. He was advertising manager and layout artist at the publishing house of Houghton, Mifflin & Co. before transferring to the firm’s printing works at the Riverside Press, where he worked until 1892. Updike’s first freelance commission, the design of a Book of Common Prayer (1892), was well received, and in 1893 he set up his own studio, initially with the idea of designing types but then as a printing press, the Merrymount Press. He commissioned a new type called Merrymount from Bertram Goodhue for use on a new Episcopalian Altar Book (Boston, 1896). Between 1893 and 1896 Updike produced c. 18 books before turning to printing them himself, assisted by John Bianchi (fl 1893–1947), his first typesetter and later his partner. The Merrymount Press undertook a wide range of work for publishers, book clubs, libraries, churches, and institutions. In ...