Arts and Crafts Furniture
Stickley´s appraisal of the English arts and crafts movement and its furniture designs.
¶ While we were doing these things in America, Ruskin and Morris had been endeavoring to establish in England a return to handicrafts as a means of individual expression along the several lines of the fine and industrial arts. This gave rise over there to the Arts and Crafts movement, which was based chiefly upon the expression of untrammeled individualism. Much furniture was made, some of it good, but a great deal of it showing the eccentricities of personal fancy unmodified by any settled standards. It was a move in the right direction because it meant a return to healthy individual effort and a revolt from the dead level established by the machines. But the Arts and Crafts workers have not succeeded in establishing another permanent style in English furniture for the reason that they have striven for a definite and intentional expression of art that was largely for arts sake and had little to do with satisfying the plain needs of the people. Although the founders of the movement held and preached the doctrine that all vital art necessarily springs from the life of the people, it is nevertheless recognized even by their followers that in practice such expression as they advocate belongs to the artist alone and that the people care very little about it.
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