Archive | August, 2011

Shingle Style and American Arts and Crafts

18 Aug

Shingle Style and American Arts and Crafts:

unique to architecture in the Untied States

New England’s Colonial architecture combined with English Queen Anne style

picturesque, rambling, irregular, and covered with wood shingles


roots of Shingle Style are in English Queen Anne architecture and 17th century building of New England

shingles, additive or rambling qualities, and broad roofs characteristic of early houses become defining elements


flowers, trees, foliage, animals, geometric motifs, Gothic details, and Oriental images


came from explorations of Colonial architecture and resort vacations to the newly wealthy leisured class

style appeals because it recalls but is not shackled by the past and exhibits freedom of expression, informality, and continuity of texture

shingles cover all or nearly all the wall surfaces, columns, and details

Materials- wood is the main material, few examples of stone or rubble

Arts and Crafts- simple host, emphasizing structure and function, vernacular traditions, close ties to the landscape and location


integrate architecture, furnishings, and decorative arts into a unified whole

Shingle- take influences from English Queen Anne and Japanese architecture

attention to details and handcrafted work complement the harmonious concept of the blend

open space, asymmetrical arrangements, horizontality, rectangular shapes


furniture designed by architects Wright or the Greene brothers

individually handcrafted or mass-produced

furniture is arranged around architectural elements

Materials- oak, mahogany or rosewood


English Arts and Crafts

18 Aug

English Arts and Crafts:

reform development strives to change the working conditions of  craftspeople while improving quality of design

emphasizes pre-industrial values

medieval-like craft guilds

promotes intelligent space planning , allowances for human needs, design unity, harmony with the natural environment, and honesty of materials

blend these principles with concepts from the vernacular, Japan, and others


attempts to reform both design and society by uniting art and craftsmanship

simplicity, suitability to purpose,  structural honesty, honest use of materials, excellent craftsmanship, functionality, elimination of the unnecessary, and regionalism or sense of peace


sunflowers, lilies, birds, images and letters from medieval manuscripts, Gothic details, and Oriental images


many variations because of the individualist architects who believe in freedom of expression and frequently experiment with form and materials

visual language uses individual forms and elements to symbolize home, family, refuge, and shelter

materials and structure depict the function of the building and interiors within

Materials- stone, brick, and wood


intergrate elements of architecture along with furnishings and decorative arts into a unified whole

attention to details and handcrafted work complement the concept of the parts blended into a whole

free-flowing space, asymmetrical organization, horizontal movement, rectangular shapes, and straight lines


displays similar concepts to architecture and interiors

revealed structure, truth of and delight in materials, and compositions based upon vernacular or traditional forms

freedom in expression and marked individuality

Materials- local woods, oak, elm, some designers used exotic woods for accents, inlay, veneers, and marquetry


Aesthetic Movement

11 Aug

Aesthetic Movement:

Aesthetic Movement attempts to reform design by educating consumers about artistic principles

attitude or philosophy instead of a single style

draws upon many styles and cultures

largely rejects the idea art should serve a higher, moral purpose


Advances the idea that good taste is not ostentatious display

careful planning on educated knowledge of artistic principles

preferring no style above any other and avoid historicism


sunflowers, peacock feathers, lilies, paisley, flowers, leaves, Japanese forms, insects, butterflies, birds


no specific architectural style

inspires far-ranging effects in architecture and subsequent stylistic developments in both England and America

open planning and simplicity effect later styles like Shingle and Arts and Crafts


public and private interiors main conveyors of the design characteristics

asymmetry, unity, harmony, constrast

patterns on walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, accessories

wooden floors with area rugs


Shuns historical styles and sets or suites of furniture for a more personal expression and new informality

vary styles and different cultures

cluttered rooms with arm chairs, side chairs, footstools, small tables, large tables, plant stands, music stands, shelves, wall cabinets and folding screens


11 Aug


19th century utopian religious groups influenced the architecture, interiors, and furniture of American Shakers

it grew from their belief system and worldview

minimal ornament, simple forms, perfected proportions, and excellent craftsmanship

reflect the lifestyles of Shakers and Modernism aspects of the 20th century


Doctrines separation from the world, communal living, lives centered on worship and work, equality between sexes

They isolate themselves physically in villages to escape worldly and outside influences

buildings, interiors, and furniture are planned primarily for work, division of labor by task and gender, and celibacy

Important life and design principles- economy, efficiency, function

those principles are the guidelines for beauty

Shakers believe that fulfilling task wholeheartedly shows love of God and the group.


Shaker architecture eschews fashion and style in favor of neatness, efficiency, function, easy maintenance

unembellished forms, refined proportions, and discreet emphasis upon beauty in materials was found in most buildings

some buildings adopt stick, queen anne, and shingle styles

buildings tend to have two entrances male and female

Materials- materials varied due to the regions

Mount Lebanon meetinghouses of clapboards, Dwellings of wood, brick, limestone, granite

Kentucky and New Hampshire built with brick and lime stone

meetinghouses are painted white


Shaker interiors exhibit- uniformity, simplicity, function and easy maintenance with materials and furnishings

most rooms are white plaster walls, bright painted trim, built-in cupboards and drawers, wood strips with peg legs for hanging clothing, and cast iron stove

Floors- wood planks (painted or stained)


Shaker furniture  reflects belief system and supports their lifestyle just as architecture and interiors

relies on materials, form, silhouette, and function for beauty

practical and easy to clean furniture

little ornament because it was to worldly

Materials- eastern furniture is of pine, maple, birch, ash, cherry, hickory, and butternut


Spanish Colonial Revival

3 Aug

Spanish Colonial Revival:

Origination on the west coast of the United States in late 19th century

counterpart to English Colonial Revival

range of Spanish and Mediterranean styles, forms, and details


Proclaims Hispanic background or place identity

architecture, interior, furnishing of exotic and romantic Spain

shares the same motivation as Arts and Crafts and Colonial Revival movements


ogee arches, interlaced arabesques, geometric shapes, heraldic symbols, pediments, zapatas, foliage


Covers several architectural styles derived from Spanish sources (Mission or Mission Revival, Spanish Colonial or Mediterranean Revival, Monterey Style, Pueblo Revival)

lavish ornament from Spanish, Moorish, and other Mediterranean sources

popular for residences

Materials- Walls are smooth or rough stucco, stone, brick, adobe, or concrete


May have rustic character

common features in all Spanish Colonial Revival styles are tile or wood floors, plastered white or off-white walls, add interest, arched openings, coffered or dark wooded-beamed ceilings


dark woods, carving, inlay, wrought iron details, applied ceramic tiles in bright colors

Spanish and Moorish motifs

rustic character

Materials- walnut, yellow pine, oak, and chestnut, usually in dark stain

luxury pieces may be of ebony or mahogany

Colonial Revival

3 Aug

Colonial Revival:

Originating in the United States in the 2nd half of 19th century

strives to emulate the architecture, interiors, furniture, and decorative arts of English and Dutch settlements in North America

style adapts elements from America’s colonial past to contemporary lifestyles


Colonial Revival symbolizing Americans heritage through nationalism within context of tradition and middle-class values

simpler and stable

finer in character and taste


simplified with less detail

column, pilasters, pediments, engaged columns, lintels, stringcourses, urns, shells


High-style houses imitate their Georgian and Federal predecessors( more eclectic and sometimes larger in scale)

Queen Anne and Shingle houses are found with Colonial details in the same areas of the country

Materials- brick stone and wood

new material concrete block and stucco


Interior rely on historical precedents

do not copy the originals except in museum restorations

early restorations are more romantic than authentic (based upon imagination and extant interiors)

interior decoration and treatments come from popular notions of Colonial lifestyles

larger and more formal


resemblance to previous styles varies from reproductions to adaptations to free interpretations of  17th century (Queen Anne, Chippendale, Federal, and American Empire styles)

certain icons or signals (grandfather clocks)]

Materials- mahogany, walnut, oak, cherry, and maple