The American Craftsman Style, or the American Arts and Crafts Movement, is an American domestic architectural, interior design, landscape design, applied arts, and decorative arts style and lifestyle philosophy that began in the last years of the 19th century. As a comprehensive design and art movement it remained popular into the 1930s. However, in decorative arts and architectural design it has continued with numerous revivals and restoration projects through present times.
The American Craftsman style has its origins from the British Arts and Crafts movement which began as a philosophy and artistic style founded by William Morris earlier in the 1860s. The British movement was a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, with its disregard for the individual worker and degradation of the dignity of human labor. Seeking to ennoble the craftsman once again, the movement emphasized the hand-made over the mass-produced.
The Arts and Crafts movement was also a reaction against the eclectic ‘over-decorated’ aesthetic of the Victorian era. It was an anti-Victorian movement, with William Morris a staunch socialist. However, the expensive fabrication and construction materials and costly hand-made techniques used meant that the created works of the movement were actually only serving a wealthy clientele, a seeming contradiction to its roots in the materialist dialectic and socialist philosophy. However the philosophy and aesthetics of the British Arts and Crafts movement inspired a wide variety of related but conceptually distinct design movements throughout Europe, as well as the ‘American Craftsman’ movement in North America.
It’s fairly well know that iron beds were not a popular item in Craftsman Style homes. Probably because the were considered a “hang over” from the Victorian era. The Craftsman movement desperately tried to distance themselves from the fancy scrolled designs of the Victorian period. Even if a bed had the exact straight lines and design of a Craftsman piece, the castings would have some elaborately done casting which would offend a pure Craftsman devoute’.
The only pure Craftsman style beds I ever saw were ones that actually incorporated the use of wood panels or wooden poles. I’ve even had pure Craftsman Style that the metal or iron tubing had been painted in a “wood-grain” manner.
But today……….people with Craftsman homes could care less about age appropriate beds and interior design. They’re aware the Craftsman Period was well after the Victorian. But they don’t take the time to realize it takes more than a straight line to really be appropriate for a Craftsman style bedroom.
There’s a definite difference from looking appropriate and being appropriate. So if you’re thinking about buying an bed for your Craftsman Style remodel……. go that extra step and find one that was truly a bed that was made during the Craftsman period. Better yet……get yourself a wooden bed instead of an iron bed.
I hope you’ve found this blog informative . I invite you to revisit my website
to answer any and all questions you might have about antique iron beds.
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