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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Asheville takes spotlight as Arts & Crafts capitalAsheville Citizen-Times, February 15th
At that first conference in 1988, there were 40 exhibitors of Art & Craft pottery, tiles and the signature Mission Oak furniture made by Stickley and other masters that provided the Grove Park Inn with its furnishings. There was only one contemporary...Read more
Different, new, tried 'n trueQuad City Times, February 1st
Stickley is a New York-based company named after the Stickley brothers, who made high-quality wood furniture in Mission Oak designs in the early 1900s. Knilans' is celebrating its 60th year of business this year. "We have a long history of being a ...Read more
Prep basketball: The Bee's Central Section boys and girls rankings for Jan. 29Fresno Bee, January 29th
Epps, after going 92-31 in the past seasons at Mission Oak of the East Yosemite League, has No. 5 Central 14-8 overall and 4-0 atop the Tri-River Athletic Conference, which attracted his move to Fresno as “the toughest league in the Central Section.”...Read more
Boogaard: Immanuel Eagles soar through scrutiny, pressure, large-school ...Fresno Bee, January 21st
Recent Headlines. Fresno business sanitizes, sells used hotel furniture (video) · Business calendar for week of March 1 · Tap consumer resources during National Consumer Protection Week · Consumer spending drops 0.2 percent in January ... Related...Read more
Aminy Audi on leadership: How leaders can measure their success as they go ...Syracuse.com, January 18th
Aminy I. Audi is CEO and chairman of the board of L. & J.G. Stickley, the family-owned furniture manufacturer headquartered in Manlius. She grew up in Lebanon and met her late husband, Alfred, when he was visiting relatives. They married in the First ...Read more
Clovis East falls to Mission Oak 63-56 in Super Saturday hoopsFresno Bee, January 17th
Clovis East's Trey Semien, right, extends to grab the rebound from Mission Oak's Leandre Jefferson, left, at the Super Saturday basketball tournament held at Edison High School Saturday, January 17, 2015 in Fresno, Calif. Mission Oak clinched the win...Read more
A Passion for Design: Keeping up with Interior Design Color TrendsPenBayPilot.com, January 15th
Las Cruces represents today's interpretation of authentic craftsman furniture with mortise and tenon joinery and vintage mission oak, hearkening back to the days of Gustav Stickley. Las Cruces is comprised of ash solids with mission oak veneers in a...Read more
Prep football semifinals roundup: Madera tops Mission Oak in 2OT, will meet ...Fresno Bee, November 28th
Madera High put up a goal-line stand in the first overtime and Evan Rios kicked a 32-yard field goal in the second extra period Friday night to beat Mission Oak 31-28 in a Central Section Division III football semifinal at Tulare's Bob Mathias Stadium...Read more