Craftsman Style

Robert Winter and Alexander Vertikoff

Craftsman Style is a good starter overview coffee-table book on Craftsman style architecture. Springing from William Morris’s Arts and Crafts movement, this architectural movement aimed to be the antithesis of industrialized, modern building. In the views of the Arts and Crafts movement, things started going to hell in the mid-Renaissance when the first rudiments of assembly line production came about. They wished to return to an idealized era where all items where beautiful, made by hand by crafts-persons (possibly in thatched cottages with songbirds twitting around their heads). Of course, this time never existed and making everything exquisitely by hand is insanely expensive and time consuming.

Still, architects like the Greene brothers and furniture designers like Stickley, certainly tried their darnedest to bring about these artistic utopias. The buildings they created, and their interior furnishings, are gorgeous. Every detail has been considered and every part lovingly created (mostly) by hand. Of course, some repetitiveness and copying came out of the movement. Not every house was built to spec by artistes. However, without it, we wouldn’t have the prevalence of gorgeous Craftsmen bungalows that still dot older neighborhoods in many cities.

A quick and easy read on the top names in the movement and pages and pages of drool-worthy photos.