American Arts and Crafts Movement
The early twentieth-century American furniture design style, particularly Gustav Stickley’s and the Roycroft Community’s work. An offshoot of the Arts and Crafts movement in the United States. Mission furniture was so named because its proponents believed it had a purpose—design utility. Stickley, in particular, was a fervent supporter of William Morris’ theories. As a result, Stickley’s furniture was made in a workplace set up as a quasi-socialist commune. The Roycroft Community, on the other hand, was little more than a factory. In both examples, the furniture reflects Arts and Crafts aesthetic values more closely than most British design.
Mission furniture featured a simple, rectilinear style with exposed construction techniques, simple materials (typically oak with leather canvas or plain cloth coverings), and little or no embellishment. The Mission style influenced works by Greene and Greene and Arthur and Lucia Mathew on the west coast and the Prairie School and Frank Lloyd Wright in the mid-west. The Arts and Crafts gospel was promoted through Stickley’s publication The Craftsman.
Boyce, C. (1985). The Wordsworth Dictionary of furniture. Wordsworth Reference.
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Gustav Stickley (1858 – 1942) was an American craftsman, furniture designer, manufacturer. He was born in the Wisconsin town of Osceola. Albert, Charles, John George, and Leopold Stickley were his brothers. As a stonemason, he learned from his father. His German name, Stoeckel, was anglicised to Stickley by his émigré parents.
Elbert Green Hubbard (1856 – 1915) was an American furniture designer. Hubbard met William Morris in 1894 and the following year inspired by Morris’s Kelmscott Press, founded the Roycroft Press’ East Aurora, near Buffalo, New York.