The Arts and Crafts movement in America was marked by the spirit of reform and the belief that traditional craftsmanship could ennoble a society overcome by rampant industrialization. Simplicity in style and honesty in construction had the power to transform a utilitarian object into a beautiful one, enhancing the lives of both maker and user. The artisan furniture makers of the Arts and Crafts movement interpreted this philosophy in sturdy oak and rich mahogany, as well as chestnut, cedar, elm, cherry, even cypress. With the addition of hammered iron straps and handles, inlaid metals and beveled glass, tooled leather and ceramic tiles, the objects they produced were diverse, useful, and, above all, beautiful.
This book features many of the most important designers, craftsmen, and furniture makers from the Arts and Crafts era, including Gustav Stickley's Craftsman Workshops, Charles Rohlfs, Elbert Hubbard's Roycrofters, the Byrdcliffe colony, L. & J. G. Stickley, the Stickley Brothers, and Greene & Greene, to name but a few.
Hundreds of color photographs of nearly two hundred objects selected from the Two Red Roses Foundation's extensive collection are presented alongside archival photographs and examinations of their design and fabrication. A special appendix highlights the designers and craftsmen appearing in the book, with a history of their firms and working practices. The mission of the Two Red Roses Foundation is to promote understanding of the American Arts and Crafts movement through the collection, conservation, exhibition, and interpretation of the decorative and fine arts. With more than 1,750 objects made between 1900 and 1930, the collection includes rare and often unique works by leading craftsman and artists of the early twentieth century.