American Craftsman


American Craftsman architecture originated from the British Arts and Crafts movement, which started as a philosophical and artistic style created by William Morris in the mid 19th century.

Following the Industrial Revolution and its degradation of the individual worker came The British Arts and Crafts movement, which sought to dignify the craftsman once again. The movement harped on hand made rather than mass produced products. However it also attempted to stray from the gaudy, over decorated aesthetics of the Victorian Era that purposely set aside wealthy décor and architecture from the middle class, William Morris being a socialist.

Nonetheless, hand made techniques and the expensive materials used made this type of architecture something only available to wealthy clientele, sometimes disparaged as "champagne socialists. However the movement still inspired a wide spread of similar but conceptually distinct designs throughout European countries, and to North America were it became known as "American Craftsman.

Although the British movement was a direct response to Victorian era ideologies, the arrival of the Arts and Crafts style in the USA was exactly at the moment when the Victorian era was ending. However, the American Arts and Crafts Movement still shared philosophical reform and encouraged the simplistic, original feel using local materials and visibly showing its handcrafted characteristics. American Craftsman style architecture meant to ennoble the more humble homes of the quickly growing middle class, which eventually became the Craftsman Bungalow.