As declared by The Wall Street Journal earlier in the month, home buyers are currently embracing the contemporary craftsman approach. This fact alone initiates the dialogue about the significance of the Modern Craftsman style as presently showcased by homeowners across the United States.
Historically speaking, the American Craftsman style as seen by the Gamble House above is primarily considered to be representative of the Arts and Crafts Movement. There is much to be said about the origin and significance of these design aesthetics. However, to obtain a deeper understanding, please contemplate what the Metropolitan Museum of Art has to say.
“The Arts and Crafts movement emerged during the late Victorian period in England, which was the most industrialized country in the world at that time. Anxieties about industrial life fueled a positive revaluation of hand craftsmanship and pre-capitalist forms of culture and society. Arts and Crafts designers sought to improve standards of decorative design, believed to have been debased by mechanization, and to create environments in which beautiful and fine workmanship governed.”
William Morris, displayed in the above portrait, positioned himself in the foreground of this movement in England. He established himself as a cultural icon of Victorian England by ardently advocating qualities of craftsmanship over the mechanized and industrialized concepts of the arts and trades.
The prominence of the Arts and Crafts Movement initially began to take hold in Boston. It arose elsewhere in the states at the very end of the 19th Century. The strongest point of emphasis was placed on locally handcrafted wood, tile, glass, stone and metal work. In a real American sense, the Arts and Crafts Movement was refined by the architects Greene and Greene of Pasadena, California.
Transitioning into modern times, The Wall Street Journal expresses another substantial point. It states, “Buyers and builders are mixing and matching craftsman elements, such as exposed rafters and natural stone with contemporary floor plans and high ceilings.” They continue by quoting Tim Gehman of Toll Architecture, part of the luxury home builder Toll Brothers: “In the last five years, I have seen this style explode on the East Coast.”
Nevertheless, students of architecture and design today are likely to associate Craftsmen with the American West Coast, due to the Pasadena connection. Logically, with the intervention of the Internet, the Arts and Crafts Movement has expanded organically throughout the country.
It may seem somewhat of an oxymoron to combine the words “modern” and “craftsman.” However, it was the examination of the virtue of truth of design and craftsmanship which launched the Arts and Crafts Movement. This aspect fits closely at hand with the open and clean design themes which are so strongly desired today.
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