University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

Page View

Stickley, Gustav, 1858-1942. / Craftsman homes
(1909)

An outline of furniture-making in this country: showing the place of craftsman furniture in the evolution of an American style,   pp. 151-159


Page 156

       FURNITURE MAKING IN THIS COUNTRY
all others,<a type essentially American.  And
the distinguishing characteristic of this type
is the power to assimilate so swiftly the kind
of culture which leads to the making of per-
manent standards of life and art that it is
hardly to be compared with what might seem
to be the corresponding class in other coun-
tries.   Such Americans have fundamental in-
telligence and the power of discrimination,
and the direct thinking that results from these
qualities inevitably produces a certain open-
ness of mind that responds very quickly to
ness alone.   In this country, where we have
no monarchs and no aristocracy, the life of
the plain people is the life of the nation;
therefore, the art of the age must necessarily
be the art of the people.  Our phases of im-
itation and of vulgar desire for show are only
a part of the crudity of youth.  We have not
yet outgrown them and will not for many
years; but as we grow older and begin to
stand on our own feet and to cherish our own
standards of life and of work and therefore
of art, we show an unmistakable tendency to
A GROUP OF CRAFTSMAN SPINDLE FURNITURE. THIS IS
PIECES BUT IS A LITTLE LIGhTER IN APPEARANcE.
anything which seems to have a real and per-
manent value.
  This quality was shown in the immediate
recognition and welcome accorded to Crafts-
man furniture when we first introduced it ten
years ago.    Like the Arts and Crafts furni-
ture in England, it represented a revolt from
the machine-made thing.   But there was this
difference:   The Arts and Crafts furniture
was primarily intended to be an expression of
individuality,  and the  Craftsman     furniture
was founded on a return to the sturdy and
primitive forms that were meant for useful-
QUITE AS STRONG AND DURABLE AS THE MORE MASSIVE
 get away from shams and to demand the real
 thing.
   And to an American the real thing is some-
 thing that he needs and understands.      The
 showroom quality is all very well when it
 comes to proving how much money he has or
 to establishing a reputation for owning things
 that are just as good as his neighbor┬╣s.  But
 for use he wants the things that belong to
 him,<the things that are comfortable to live
 with ; that represent a good investment of his
 mOney  and have no nonsense  about them.
 Furthermore the true American likes to know
156


Go up to Top of Page