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The Arts and Crafts Movement

“Secretary Cabinet”, c. 1889, designed by George Washington Jack

The escalating industrialization taking place in England during the 1860s inspired a socialist backlash among designers, architects, and theorists who felt a dehumanizing undercurrent in the division of labor that came with machine production. Seeking to reunite designer and manufacturer, John Ruskin and William Morris led an aesthetic reform that promoted artistic handicraft with an emphasis on nature and honest construction. Journals, newspapers, and publications such as The Craftsman magazine spread these ideas throughout the United States where they shaped interiors and styles such as “mission” furniture and the Prairie School.