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Furniture Style: Arts & Crafts

Popular from 1860 – 1910 but with continuing influence into the 1930s, the purpose of this style is to de-clutter design with a return to nature, ousting manufacturing and opting instead for a more traditional approach.

Source: Lacma.Org

Source: Lacma.Org

Author of the Arts & Crafts theories and art movement is writer and artist William Morris.  It is heavily influenced by the Art Nuveau movement,

It is unsurprising, then, that the Arts & Crafts furniture style is:

  • Simple
  • Uses natural materials
  • Above all, it is not mass-produced

The skinny on Arts & Crafts style

Furniture designs following Arts & Crafts theories are:

  • heavy and sturdy
  • thickly proportioned
  • designed to be honest
    • little or no ornamentation
    • joinery that is exposed
    • use fabrics (especially in chair backing or cushioning) such as
      • canvas
      • leather
      • use wood, especially
        • birch
        • maple
        • oak
        • cherry
        • hickory
        • pine

A note on the history of Arts & Crafts style

Moving from its origin in the British Isles to the east coast of America, this contemporary crafts style:

  • took hold of the local design scene through exhibitions, most notably an exhibition in 1897 in Boston’s Copley Hall
    • nearly half of the 160 exhibitors were women
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