Essay, 3 pages (800 words)

Arts and crafts movement in america

Arts and Crafts Movement in America The Arts and Crafts was an international design philosophy that was actually originated in England. In the United States, the term American Craftsman is used to indicate the Arts and Crafts movement, especially the style of architecture, decorative arts, and interior design that had been in existence in the dominant era between 1910 and 1925. When the Europeans focused on recreating virtuous craft, the Americans concentrated on establishing new types of craft production. The American Arts and Crafts style initiated a variety of methods to reinterpret European Arts and Crafts ideals.
The Arts and Crafts movement in America became successful in variety of virtues from architecture and furniture, to metalwork, pottery, and textiles, and in dealing with almost all sorts of necessities. The social living of people improved from the Victorian clutter and corrupted revival styles. Taking inspiration from the English Arts and Crafts movement and from earlier Aesthetic movements was an added advantage to the success of the movement.
Many designer groups contributed to the success of the movement. The Boston Society of Arts and Crafts, established in 1897, was one of the several American organizations that helped the arts and crafts credo. The notable pragmatic attitude that helped the reform was that the Americans became aware of their shortcomings in design manufacture at the Centennial Exposition, took place in Philadelphia in 1876. They were willing to make changes and so found a remedy by making arts and crafts more universal by encouraging and brining up amateurs into making crafts.
Many eminent designers and their works have contributed to the success of Arts and Crafts movements in America. As Boehm points out, in Cincinnati, socially prominent women, like Mary Louise McLaughlin engaged in overglaze decoration of ceramic pieces at the Cincinnati School of Art. Her works were sent to the Centennial Exposition where she expanded her knowledge into Oriental pottery and French barbotine with underglaze decoration in colored slips. Later in 1879, McLaughlin started the Women’s Pottery Club, and flourished in the crafting field. There were other women too taking the initiative in the reform, like the Newcomb College Pottery, started in 1895.
Another designing group that got flourished before the Arts and Crafts movement was the Rookwood Pottery. It was founded by Maria Longworth Nichol, the granddaughter of Cincinnati real-estate millionaire, Longworth, in an old schoolhouse in 1880 and named it after their family estate (“ Rookwood pottery”). Within a few years from its birth, the Rookwood Pottery started to succeed and thrive. They produced several thousand pieces and held a dominating place in the market. The pragmatic attitude in production boosted up the developments of the organization into becoming a commercially successful one with obtaining gold medal at the World’s Fair in Paris In 1889. Realistic attitudes taken by the Rookwood Pottery had a great influence on the Arts and Crafts Movement in America.
Prominent potters such a George Ohr had demonstrated his skills on the formation of the Arts and Crafts movement. His point of view concentrated on the ideal that a crafts person must control the entire design process from its conception to its completed form. He engaged in personally designing, manipulating and glazing his earthenware products (Smith).
The Grueby Pottery, founded by William Grueby in 1897, was a company concentrated on producing pottery and tiles (“ About Grueby pottery”). The pragmatic strategy of the company within a relatively short period of production had arguably more impact on American Arts and Crafts movement. They followed the predominant style of conventional, naturally shaped forms, and hand sculpted and stylized designs ( “ About Grueby pottery”). The Fulper Pottery was another notable manufacturer of utilitarian kitchnwares, around the American arts and crafts movement.
The Louis Comfort Tiffany’s pottery was more of a realistic and natural form of production, and it created greater attraction for his products. Louis Comfort Tiffany’s career started in 1848, and became one of America’s most acclaimed artists. He paid attention to every artistic and decorative medium, designing and directing his studios to produce leaded glass windows, pottery, jewelry and interiors (“ Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933)”). These products were made in molds but were then finished by hand. His versatility in production had greater advantages in the American arts and crafts movement.
Works Cited
“ About Grueby pottery.” Just Art Pottery. (n. d). Web. 26 September 2011. Boehm, Mary Dutton. “ The arts and crafts movement in America.” The Journal of San Diego History, San Diego History Center. 36. 2&3. (1990). Web. 26 September 2011. “ Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933).” Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan of Art History. (2011). Web. 26 September 2011. “ Rookwood pottery.” Arts & Craft Movement. University of Victoria. (2005). Web. 26 September 2011. Smith, Roberta. “ Review/ art; The pottery of George Ohr at American craft museum.” The New York Times. (1989). Web. 26 September 2011.

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