The English Arts and Crafts movement was first introduced in the 1860s by the English artist, writer, and socialist William Morris. With a particular focus on higher standards of handcrafted work that was more accessible to the growing middle class, the Arts and Crafts Movement came as a reaction to both the impersonal mechanization of the Industrial Revolution and the overly ornate, upper-class Victorian style of previous generations. Inspired by the writings of John Ruskin, the style reached its high point in Great Britain from the 1880s to the 1910s and sometimes shared design elements with the French Art Nouveau style, the Austrian Sezessionsstil, and the accompanying Wiener Werkstatte, which focused on arts and crafts made for a select market.
   Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a Scottish architect who worked mainly in Glasgow, is one of the best known Arts and Crafts architects. Mackintosh, in his building for the Glasgow School of Art, constructed from 1897 to 1909, blends the curving, organic design elements of Art Nouveau with a more modern angularity characteristic of the Arts and Crafts style. He designed the interior as well, with rich wood paneling, wood light fixtures, and beautiful hand-crafted, yet modern, furnishings. It is the Hill House, built on a hill overlooking the small town of Helensburgh, Scotland, that reveals Mackintosh's most famous use of the Arts and Crafts style. Built in 1902-1904 for the publisher Walter Blackie, this modern version of a baronial country house features exterior walls made of smooth local stone, a mix of organic shapes and straight lines with 90-degree angles, and his characteristic windows filled with 30 or so small panes of glass. Inside, Mackintosh designed the interior space to include his famous tall ladder-back Mackintosh chairs, as well as a beautiful set of gar-den furniture.
   The American Bungalow, or the Craftsman style, as the Arts and Crafts style came to be called in the United States, was first introduced in the 1890s when an interest in new forms of domestic architecture spread across the country, lasting through the 1920s. In 1897 a group of architects and designers in Boston organized an exhibition of contemporary crafts at Copley Hall with a focus on Arts and Crafts designs that were incorporated into bungalow interiors. Shortly there-after, in the early 1900s, the designer Gustav Stickley introduced his publication The Craftsman, which featured furniture based on the Mission style to match these homes.
   Arts and Crafts bungalows, built across the United States until around 1920, are characterized by low-pitched roofs with steep gables, deeply overhanging eaves, exposed rafters, and brackets beneath the eaves. A front porch with square piers that support the roof, other architectural motifs based on the buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright, and a handcrafted mixture of wood and stone lent elegance to these popular homes. Inside, the bungalows had features appropriate to the middle-class home buyer. For example, the "breakfast nook" began to appear in houses around this time, and the Victorian butler's pantry was replaced by built-in wood shelving in the kitchen and dining room. Unlike the Victorian kitchen, which was used by servants and therefore separated from the main living areas of the family, the Craftsman house featured a kitchen that was gradually becoming central to family life. Because the servants ate in the Victorian kitchen, it was never considered appropriate for family members to eat there, but the Craftsman breakfast nook, often placed in a bay window in the kitchen, allowed a place mainly for children to eat informal meals during the daytime.
   Some of the most elegant Craftsman houses were built in California by the brothers Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, who established their architectural firm in Pasadena in 1894. Their most famous house is the Gamble House, built in Pasadena in 1908-1909 as a winter home for the family of David B. Gamble. This elegant bungalow, one of the best examples of domestic architecture in the United States, reveals the Greenes' desire to create a custom-built domestic structure that is both informal and elegant. The teak, maple, oak, and mahogany structure features wide overhanging roofs with timber brackets, a strongly horizontal design, side porches, and a wooden exterior that reflects Japanese architecture, while the more rustic appearance recalls an English country house. Sleeping porches and a garden setting provide a connection to nature and reflect current ideas on the need for sunlight and air circulation within a home. Although in some respects this home resembles the Japanese-influenced houses of Frank Lloyd Wright, the bungalow did not feature a new floor plan, as did Wright's homes. In addition, although the bungalow's dark-stained wood exterior recalls the look of a shingle home, it features a consistent custom interior that sets it apart from this other house type. In California, this Arts and Crafts style was also called the Mission style because it sometimes included Spanish Mission design elements.
   Like the more simple American Foursquare houses, bungalows allowed children to be monitored from the kitchen because of the more open ground plan and large kitchen windows that looked out into the backyard. These houses reflect many transformations found in early-20th-century American family life, and ultimately bungalows and foursquare homes became the most popular house types purchased from pattern books. Bungalows, however, retained the regional characteristics and handcrafted features that gave middle-class domestic architecture a new elegance in the early decades of the 20th century.

Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts. . 2008.

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