Hold on a minute. (I'm afraid I'm going to have to be insufferably pedantic so bear with me. This won't last long and it should be relatively painless.)
There is absolutely nothing unusual about this range of styles. In fact this is a distinct design lineage that fits together perfectly.
For some reason this combination of tastes causes the designers to freak out. They seem to feel that Mid-Century Modern and Arts and Crafts are “colliding” styles, as Andrea puts it.
Architects might be more inclined to see the two styles as colliding if they think of modern architecture in terms of the international style rather than in terms of residential architecture, but this show is not called Top Non-residential Architect.
One problem is that the designers seem to be fixated on the idea that Mid-century Modern = Eames which they define (if they have any idea of it at all) as a focus on mass-produced, machine made, the use of new materials and bright colors. This is a very narrow description of Mid-Century Modern (as well as the work of Charles and Ray Eames). Mid-century modern also included designers like Isamu Noguchi who uses organic shapes and natural materials, just to take one of many examples.
Basically the designers seem to have a rather fuzzy understanding of the Arts and Crafts and Mid-century Modern movements.
Carisa informs us that Arts and Crafts is a 20th century movement illustrated by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Oy. Carisa is not exactly wrong. The trouble is that this is not exactly the right definition of the Arts and Crafts movement.
- Arts and Crafts is primarily a 19th century movement.
- It started in England with William Morris.
- Its most important American figure is Gustav Stickley.
- It is associated with mission style furniture and bungalow architecture.
ADDED SATURDAY MARCH 24:Why does Bravo do this? It is such a disservice to viewers to not use this as an opportunity to educate viewers. Or at least let them know what the hell everyone is talking about.
Linda Merrill's :: surroundings has a nice post on arts and crafts movement with a variety of images including several Frank Lloyd Wright homes. You can see the difference between his earlier bungalow style in the Robie house and the later modernist lines of Falling Water.
And while I'm at it, I'll remind you that Chicago is the architectural locus for both the Prairie School and the Modern/International style (discussed in this earlier post).
a few resources :
arts and crafts
- the arts and crafts movement (an older site that I never got back to -- oops! -- maybe now is the time to fix it up)
- kora in hell shop: arts and crafts style ceramic and paper goods (shameless commerce : note at the end of the month the design will change from pomegranates to oranges)
frank lloyd wright -- some basic sites
- frank lloyd wright foundation (taliesen west)
- taliesen preservation
- frank lloyd wright preservation trust (0ak park)
- frank lloyd wright buildings (pbs)
- frank lloyd wright library of congress exhibit : designs for an american landscape, 1922-1932
- eames office -- a great site -- check out the powers of 10
- the work of charles and ray eames (library of congress exhibition)
- herman miller : charles and ray eames
- design museum
on the web this is basically a commercial category; the best thing would be a book list (forthcoming)