Mission-style furniture grew out the turn-of-the-century Arts and Crafts movement, which like Art Nouveau was a response to industrialization. During the Victorian Era, elaborate Rococo and Neoclassical furniture was churned out by factories. Artists, designers, scholars, and other thinkers of the day began to express disdain for both the frilly, ornate aesthetic of Victorian decor, as well as the low quality of machine-made items.

The lead thinkers of the Arts and Crafts movement, such as art critic John Ruskin and designer William Morris, both from England, called for a return to high-quality, hand-made furniture, crafted by artisans. They promoted a simpler, more natural, and more functional look, with clean lines and solid, heavy frames made of wood. They believed that furniture design should lack clutter and highlight the craftsmanship of the construction and the natural beauty of the materials.

In 1900, furniture designer Gustav Stickley, publisher of the influential magazine, “The Craftsman,” popularized this movement in the United States, launching his own Mission or Craftsman-style of furniture. Said to be based on the spartan furnishings of California’s Franciscan missions, the earthy, rectilinear style was characterized by thick lines of oak, with exposed mortise-and-tenon joints and little in the way of decorative carving.

The best examples of antique Mission-style furnishings, from chairs to tables to cabinets, often feature rows of narrow wooden spindles that create eye-pleasing parallel lines. The wood is varnished but never painted, and the upholstery is always of a natural, unembellished material such as dyed leather or canvas.

The great irony of Mission-style furniture is that even though the Arts and Crafts movement supposedly rejected mechanization, Stickley would used steam-powered or electric woodworking machines to get the wood ready for his pieces, which would then be hand-finished by his artisans. Eventually, the Mission style was mass-produced just like its predecessors had been, and low-quality, slipshod items were soon found everywhere.


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Recent News: Mission Style Furniture

Source: Google News

Switchback Kids spent time in Visalia before heading to Sequoia
Visalia Times-Delta, April 1st

To accomplish saving the $20,000, Cole took on a second job as an Uber driver and Elizabeth had a side business repurposing furniture. They also sold everything they practically owned. “That did give us a huge chunk of money,” she said. “We didn't...Read more

Anniversary party for Firehouse a shining success
The Daily News of Newburyport, March 30th

Cava, Circle Furniture, Clark Currier Inn, Fred Coates, Jim Conley, Billy Costa, Mooo, Elephant's Trunk, Ted Epstein, Essex Street Inn, Sandy Farrier, Firehouse Center Board of Directors, Giuseppe's, Glenn's Restaurant, Eleanor Mosbach Godin...Read more

TCOE gets 21st century upgrade
Visalia Times-Delta, March 9th

Instead, the furniture and other materials used for board meetings are stored away so the room can be used for other events. One of those events is the county's annual Poetry and Prose On Stage program, occurring over the next week. Visitors to the...Read more

Tin lithographs in good condition bring a pretty penny
HeraldNet, March 3rd

The sign pictures a boy in overalls eating at a Mission oak breakfast table in an up-to-date 1910 room. There is a potted fern on the windowsill of a leaded glass window. On the table is a blue-green box of cereal, a glass sugar bowl and a glass of milk...Read more

The Perfect “Not So Tiny” Tiny Home
StyleBlueprint (blog), February 8th

The neutral couch is punctuated by different seasonal pillows to create the centerpiece of the den. Century Essentials Phillip Sofa, $2,100; Stickley Mission Oak End Table with Drawer, Onandoga finish, $889; Furniture Classics Antique Coffee Bench, $929...Read more

Inspired Interiors: Arts and Crafts take center stage in 2016
Indianapolis Star, February 5th

Think Frank Lloyd Wright, Stickley Furniture and Mission Oak. Here's another example. The Indianapolis Museum of Art is staging an exhibit of Gustave Baumann which runs through Feb. 14. Baumann was a woodworker and printmaker who arrived in Brown ...Read more

Something more: Furinture maker Gustav Stickley's renown career began in ...
Auburn Citizen, January 29th

Rudd studied sculpture and photography at Syracuse University and said he became interested in Stickley when he and his wife found a Stickley mission oak settee when they looked for furniture shortly after getting married. "I fell in love with the...Read more

Infant in burn center clings to life
Visalia Times-Delta, January 7th

“I want to remind residents to make sure these heaters are directly plugged into a wall outlet and there are no items directly in front of them, such as furniture or clothing,” he added. The family member who created the GoFundMe account for the little...Read more