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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The Perfect "Not So Tiny" Tiny HomeStyleBlueprint (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 2016Indianapolis 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
Classrooms get 21st century upgradeVisalia Times-Delta, January 22nd
Traditionally, a high school classroom consists of a white board, wooden desks or tables, a few cabinets and maybe some bookshelves. A Tulare Joint Union High School District pilot program is changing that. Literacy coaches from Tulare Union, Tulare...Read more
Open new possibilities with refurbished doorsWinston-Salem Journal, January 7th
The doors inside your home get a lot of use, being opened and closed many times each day. They are also busy reflecting a look upon your home, whether intended or not. If the builder left you hanging with a lot of plain, flat doors, there is much you...Read more
The rear view mirrorVisalia Times-Delta, January 1st
How did 2015 slip by so quickly?! I believe it's beneficial for Visalia to look back at our 2015 accomplishments, as we celebrate the start of a new year. Mooney Boulevard. Mor Furniture and outlet store opened in February. HomeGoods, a popular home ...Read more
Visalia holding Dump on Us DayVisalia Times-Delta, December 3rd
Items that will be accepted include cell phones, dryers, washers, mattresses — with a limit of two mattresses per person — furniture, scrap metal, small appliances, up to four tires with their rims removed, printer toner cartridges and concrete from...Read more
Developer Paynter buys fourth Mooney shopping centerVisalia Times-Delta, October 16th
The purchase does not include Walmart, but includes Burlington Coat Factory and Ashley Furniture and the former Circuit City building along with the inline shops in the complex. “We have a tenant coming into the long- vacant Circuit City space but the...Read more
Clay Cafe gets new digs, moves into Victorian-style homeVisalia Times-Delta, September 30th
Furniture, picture frames and curtains from the Victorian era can be seen throughout. “It's so exciting to be able to use all my Victorian stuff,” she said. Customers also have the option to paint in the secret garden or reserve a spot for a garden...Read more