Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Bauhaus
The idea is to make the house as cozy as possible. About the purpose of the furniture.
June 01, 2021
Jeffrey Wynter(freelancer at Co-working)
The idea of making the home as cozy as possible is not a new one. The purpose of furniture is pretty simple? Everybody wants to live among beautiful things. In some ancient Asian cultures, a house was an expression of one's personality. Furniture can be described in this way as well. People will always want something new and better in their lives that will bring esthetic satisfaction. People always want a bigger house, better flooring, better bathrooms, etc. Even when they have it all, they want more. The process is inevitable, and it depicts what human nature is. People are never satisfied with something they already have. They are prone to find flaws in their houses, mask the ordinary drawbacks, and turn them into advantages. The feeling of dissatisfaction or embarrassment pushes people to the limit where new furniture aims to make them happy.
Concerning the history of furniture, the Arts and Crafts movement was first developed in England and appeared in the 19th century. It was initiated by American designers and was a little changed. Another name poetry papers for this movement was a Mission style. That was a style that began to challenge the Victorian era's tastes. It is mostly associated with the names of such thinkers as John Ruskin, Walter Crane, and William Morris (Bauerlein and Grantham). However, in times of English Arts and Crafts movement, the craftsmanship predetermined high prices, and thus, this furniture was available only to wealthy people.In English version of Arts and Crafts, the movement was referred to as Aesthetic Style. Some parts of Art Nouveau movement were also present.
The main characteristics of the Art Nouveau movement lied in the influences of traditional furnishings and American Southwest interiors. They commonly had numerous features from the Crafts forms and British Arts. Additionally, Hispanic parts associated with Spanish architecture were represented in this style. Interiors of Mission Style were also embellished with Native American patterns such as baskets, rugs, or potteries. That was especially popular in the 20th century. Below is the example of a wooden chair made in the Arts and Crafts style including the embellished parts and non-standard form for the furniture of that period. Stickley Poppy table is still one of the favorite items of furniture of those times.
The style of Art Nouveau evolved almost at the same time as Arts and Crafts movement. It had no creed and was looking for its way in very diverse directions. Although Art Nouveau has spread into all spheres of artistic activity, it refers primarily to the decorative arts and furniture. This style was concurrent with the Arts and Crafts style, but was not at all concerned with social reforms. Instead, this style widely addressed the confusion and eclecticism of mid-19th century Europe. This French movement advocated nature as a true source of any good design. Designers of Art Nouveau were concerned with the borrowing of design ideas from the past, and even from other cultures. Thus, the Japanese approach to nature was much admired and emulated. Characteristics of the style included the use of the asymmetrical arrangement of forms and patterns as well as an undulating curved line. The forms that come from nature were most popular among designers in the Art Nouveau style. The main characteristics were smooth curves like lilies, vines, grasses, etc. The other, more uncommon natural forms were also used, namely butterflies, insects, and peacock feathers. Below is the picture of a vase made in the style of Art Nouveau in the form of a peacock's feather. Here asymmetrical forms and curved lines characterize the Nouveau style in its essence.
Art Deco design is considered as modern reinterpretation of the classic pieces. This style includes symmetrical, simple, and concise forms. Furniture in Art Deco are carvings and ornaments. They subdued the look into streamlined and simplified (Benton and Wood). Thus, the wood has further refined geometric shapes chevrons, trapezoids, and spheresThe works in the Art Deco style commonly aspire to the visual pleasure with the help of its exotic and rich materials. Luxury items that were produced for the new class of wealthy manufacturers created a new look.
The built-in closet in the picture is performed in the Art Deco style, which is characterized by the reviving handicraft and mix of the historicism and avant-guard. The decorations here are more stylised and abstract. Besides, the author devoted his attention to ornaments.
The Bauhaus style was founded in the 19th century in Germany when German design school existed till 1933. Concerning the main characteristics of the Bauhaus, furniture here is quite simple and light. It contains a minimum of decorative additives while following the user's needs. The main materials used in this style are plastic, bentwood, steel, leather, or glass. The color is mainly black, brown, white, or grey. From time to time, the main furniture colors are used in order to accentuate some features or to give less dark appearance. The furniture of the Bauhaus could be considered as the preamble of functionalism and modernism. Below is an example of the Bauhaus furniture named Barcelona table of 1925-1926 years.
It is quite obvious that the table contains no ornaments and embellishments that is one of the main features of the Bauhaus. The table itself is made in black color; the materials are wood and glass. Everything here fits the Bauhaus standards and the needs of users.
In conclusion, these four reviwed styles have provided an understanding of their main characteristics and features. Particularly, every style is connected to its epoch. Starting from the Arts and Crafts movements, the newest of the reviewed is the Bauhaus style, which is still popular nowadays.