rts and Crafts was, in reality, a social movement as well as a design style. The movement began in England in the 1870’s, championed by the influential artist, William Morris, and the well respected thinker, John Ruskin. Some of the goals that drove the Arts and Crafts movement were awareness and improvement in the fields of education, science, conservation, labor conditions and design aesthetics. Concern was expressed by proponents of Arts and Crafts that civilization had come too far, too fast in the Age of Industrialization, and that machines were undermining true craftsmanship. New design guidelines called for honest lines, natural materials, and refined craftsmanship in homes, furniture and decorative arts.
The dominant years of Arts and Crafts in America were the mid-1890's to 1915. From 1901 to 1916, Gustav Stickley published and edited his magazine ‘The Craftsman,’ which offered personal and practical advise on how to live a “Craftsman” life while it showed the world what Craftsman styles really looked like. The overriding concept was put forth that simplification in the home would lead to happiness, enlightenment health. This resulted from integrity of design, hand-workmanship and the re-introduction to nature.
Associated with Arts and Crafts is the Mission style (of the early 20th century), Craftsman design, Prairie Style/ Frank Lloyd Wright, Greene and Greene, Bernard Maybeck style, and the (American) Bungalow style. Other names in the American decorative arts scene are Dirk Van Erp, L.C. Tiffany, Handel, Roycroft, Charles Rohlfs, Grueby, Rookwood, Newcomb, Limbert, Fulper, and L. and J.G. Stickley.