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The craftsman
Volume XXVII, Number 5 (February 1915)

McCann, Alfred W.
Why I am interested in The craftsman kitchen,   pp. 530-533 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 531


!W-HY I AM INTERESTED IN THE CRAFTSMAN KITCHEN
  Everything that grows out of Stickley's activities is henceforth
3bvious. It is all so sane, so hopeful, so simple and so natural that
n its presence the old familiar blotches and blots and daubs fall away
rom their callous immunity to contempt, and stand forth, as they are,
he hideous symptoms of a disease too long neglected.
HE initiated does not wonder that the dreams of the Craftsman,
     woven out of hatred for the ugly and the false, should penetrate
     to the very heart of human happiness and thus discern the
ixed laws which, in the natural order, underlie that happiness. It
auses no shock to learn that Stickley, by unforced advances, has
rrived at that point in his development wherefrom he sees clearly
hat in all his work for the betterment of the American home he must
egin with the kitchen and the food that enters that kitchen.
  The fundamentals which have been overlooked there, as else-
vhere, have disclosed themselves to his warm sympathies and his
ensitive responsiveness to truth. With no fixed habits to blind his
ision he has followed them to their source-the source of life.
  Stickley knows that in the days, popularly called Colonial, when
aen, animated by stern necessity, built their strong, durable and
eally beautiful houses, and constructed their rough-hewn tables
and chairs, they unconsciously fell under the influence of their unde-
fled environment and followed the lines of spiritual loveliness and
physical grace and beauty and natural proportion which that en-
vronment inspired.
  So well did they hew and carve and join that all New England
has been ransacked for the beautiful things that have been hidden
away in the backwoods houses of olden days. Stickley knows this
and he knows also that when the early home-makers of America
began to accumulate the riches of their industry, the simplicity of
teir humble beginnings faded slowly out of their consciousness and
was replaced by a desire to "better" their surroundings.
Wealth, without eyes, began to associate that beautiful simplicity
ith the lowly necessities of life from which it had emerged and which
bore unseen the imprints of a loving workmanship that was now
cuelly distorted into mere reminders of drudgery. Under such
bindness of purpose it soon became fashionable to despise the old,
fmiliar glories and to search for novelty.
Comfortable, complacent and smug the newly rich thus turned
teir backs upon beauty and became patrons of the Mansard roof,
te corner-clipped shingle, the grotesque arch, the crabbed angle
ad the gilded flounce.
Tbere were to be no more ample clapboard exteriors, no more
531
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