Creating the Artful Home: The Aesthetic Movement is the first in-depth look at late-nineteenth-century American home design and its cultural context. Average housewives transformed the radical premise of the Aesthetic movement-art for art's sake-into lush, nurturing homes. They believed that artful homes made people better, families happier, and society stronger. As it flowered in America, the Aesthetic movement became not so much a style as a process. The Aesthetic movement left us a legacy of Queen Anne houses and tidy suburbs, and its influence is now felt as Americans embrace the more-is-more philosophy of home furnishings.
The Aesthetic movement grew out of the ideas and the products of English reformers, such as William Morris, and was flamboyantly promoted by Oscar Wilde in an 1882 lecture tour across America. Tastemakers rallied-Louis Comfort Tiffany became an interior designer while his father's firm, Tiffany and Company, produced Japoniste silver. Eastlake furniture invaded fashionable shops like Cottier's, and Oriental stores appeared even in small towns. Graphics transmitted the new design overtly through advertising and subtly through products like ubiquitous Staffordshire tableware. This book takes a thorough look at household furnishings, from the lavish productions of the Herter Brothers to humble Minton tiles.
This volume will intrigue collectors, historians, and homemakers. Dozens of never-before-published illustrations, including rare color views of 1880s interiors and exteriors, shed new light on American houses. The author gives thoughtful insights into gender roles and the development of architecture as a moral imperative. Collectors will appreciate the thorough examination of historic architecture and furnishings and the glimpses of modern objects that show the same aesthetic. Most of all, the book gives modern homeowners insights into how American houses of the past have shaped our houses today-and how we might create our own artful homes in the future.show more