The Arts and Crafts movement arose in England in the late nineteenth century as an impassioned cry against the evils of the Industrial Revolution. Proponents such as William Morris urged an outright revolt against mass-produced, shoddy goods and a return to the honest handcraftsmanship of earlier ages. His American disciple, a furniture maker named Gustav Stickley, spread these ideals across the country through his magazine, The Craftsman (1901-16). This publication lent its name to the American movement and the building style it spawned - more rugged than its British counterparts, in keeping with the lingering American frontier ethos. Long identified with California, today Craftsman-style structures can be found as far east as New York State and Rhode Island. Intricate woodwork gives them the look of timeless handcraftsmanship, and rustic materials tie them to the earth. Exposed beams, rafter tails, and braces turn construction details into built-in ornament. Broad sloping roofs with shady overhangs signify the very idea of shelter. Stone-covered foundations and posts announce their link to nature. Generous porches blur the lines between indoors and out.
Behind each element lies a hint of a craftsman plying his art. As Robert Winter notes in the book, a range of American Craftsman styles evolved from the Arts and Crafts movement and the Shingle Style popular in New England. Although the rambling Shingle Style was adopted for the mansions of the rich, Craftsman became the term of choice for more modest homes: bungalows as well as larger rustic houses. Craftsman Style explores the many permutations of the Craftsman style in houses and other building types, including recent examples of work that continues the principles espoused by Morris, Stickley, and the Greene brothers. Each of the approximately twenty-five to thirty profiles is illustrated by a half dozen or more rich full-color photographs (outside and in) specially commissioned for the book.
Robert Winter is a leading architectural historians and an expert on the Arts and Crafts movement. Alexander Vertikoff, chief photographer for American Bungalow magazine, has photographed Arts and Crafts buildings nationwide for such books as Robert Winter's American Bungalow Style, Bungalow Nation, Greene and Greene: Masterworks, Stickley Style, and Arts and Crafts Design in America: A State-by-State Guide.