A Note from the Editor:
Part of the appeal of the Arts & Crafts movement is its diversity, and that’s certainly what sustains our interest. (The revival of Arts & Crafts architecture and furnishings is entering its fifth decade.)
It’s much more than “a style,” as it encompasses expressions as different as those of C.F.A. Voysey, Gustav Stickley, Greene & Greene, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Wherever you live, Arts & Crafts is there to speak to you.
I live in New England, where bungalows didn’t grow by the acre, but rather popped up as “artistic” houses among Cape Cods and suburban Victorians. Still, the Arts & Crafts of William Morris is in evidence, and the English movement asserted itself here at the same time as the popularity of the Shingle Style, in the work of such architects as H.H. Richardson, William Ralph Emerson, and John Calvin Stevens.
Most Americans think of Stickley as the father of Arts & Crafts, and as a Jersey girl (born and bred) I wouldn’t argue. Will we ever get tired of those neat and simple houses that fit so well in suburban neighborhoods from New York to Illinois? Or the substantial oak furniture that makes a quiet backdrop in rooms filled with burnished copper and green vases?
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On to the Prairie School, the Midwest expression of Arts & Crafts principles. Many of us have made the pilgrimage to Oak Park and can see how those iconic houses informed domestic building in Wisconsin, in Kansas City, in Foursquares around the country. And consider the houses designed by Chicago-area architect Howard Van Doren Shaw, some of which echo those of Voysey in England. A hundred years ago and today, of course, the West Coast has been rich in Arts & Crafts expression, from the artistry of Greene & Greene in Southern California to Washington’s idyllic bungalow neighborhoods.
All the different flavors are evident even in one issue of this magazine. Look for a book about Voysey...Douglas fir in a California kitchen...the Prairie style in Minneapolis...a new bungalow in the vernacular...and 48 contemporary furniture-makers with their own interpretations.
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