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Federation Arts and Crafts c. 1890-1915

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  17 Wychwood 18 Glebe Fire Station 12 Leichhardt Public School
 
  08 Holme Building 19 John Woolley Building
46 Manning House
       
As its name implies, the style was concerned with the integration of art into everyday life through the medium of craftsmanship. There is a strong flavour of morality, with stress on the truthful use of materials and the honest expression of function. Arts and Crafts buildings are unpretentious and informal, evoking an atmosphere of comfortable familiarity.
In nineteenth-century England, the moral attitudes to architecture and design preached by A. W. N. Pugin and John Ruskin were put into practice by William Morris, father of the Arts and Crafts movement. Dismayed by the effects of the Industrial Revolution and inspired by Ruskin’s writings on ‘The Nature of Gothic’, Morris tried to put art into a broadly based social context through the reestablishment of handicraft methods reminiscent of a rural, pre-industrial age. C. F. A. Voysey and Philip Webb were important Arts and Crafts architects in England. In the United States, Gustav Stickley promoted the ‘Craftsman’ image in architecture, interior design and furniture.
In Australia, Federation Arts and Crafts architecture exhibits qualities similar to those of the overseas models from which it drew inspiration. Buildings in this style are domestic in scale and make free use of traditional (usually English) vernacular motifs to achieve an unassuming, homely, well-established character. Designers aimed for informality in planning, massing, fenestration and landscaping. The roof is a dominant element, featuring gables (with barges or parapets) and/or hips of medium to steep pitch and prominent eaves. Tall, tapering chimneys, battered wall- buttresses and bay windows are characteristic elements of the style. Pebbledash stucco (roughcast) was commonly used as an exterior wall finish, together with other materials having earthy, ‘natural’ colours and textures. Interiors frequently display timber panelling and sturdy ceiling beams. Touches of Art Nouveau detail are common, both externally and internally.

006 Erica,The Appian Way, Burwood
11 Leichhardt Fire Station
13 RD Watt Building
25 JD Stewart Building

Quoted from:
"A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Austrlian Architecture; Styles and Terms from 1788 to the Present"
RICHARD APPERLY, ROBERT IRVING, PETER REYNOLDS. PHOTOGRAPHS BY SOLOMON MITCHELL.
Angus & Robertson Sydney 1995 ISBN 0207 18562 X
Copyright © 1989 by Richard Apperly, Robert Irving and Peter Reynolds.

 
Style Definition
A movement which developed in the second half of the 19th century, in opposition to industrialization and associated social changes. The idea spread after the Great Exhibition of 1851, which had supposedly shown off in London the best craftsmanship of the day, but it had earlier roots in the emphasis which Jean-Jacques Rousseau had placed on craftsmanship in the 18th century and on the medievalism of Gothic revivalists like Pugin in the early 19th century. It was articulated in the writings of Ruskin, whose belief in the moral qualities of art led him to oppose machine production, and who believed in the ultimate inspiration of nature, rather than the rehashed historicism of the period. It was exemplified by the design work of William Morris, through his firm Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co., established in 1861. He employed artists such as Burne Jones and produced many designs himself, notably for wallpaper, textiles and stained glass, in which natural inspiration and truth to materials are the paramount considerations. The movement also inspired a generation of architects, led by Webb (who designed the Red House for Morris), Shaw, Ashbee and Voysey, who used vernacular architecture and traditional materials without resorting to the overt period style of the Queen Anne Movement.

The Arts and Crafts Movement had a strong socialist streak, seen in Morris's own writings (e.g. News from Nowhere, 1891) and in the numerous attempts to educate the masses (e.g. Ashbee's Guild and School of Arts and Crafts established in 1888). But the politics was always tempered by a nostalgia for the Middle Ages with their craftsmanship, guilds and religious endeavour. The movement organized exhibitions from 1888, but by then was already being superseded by the development of Art Nouveau which shared similar ideas but with a more contemporary outlook. However, its ideal lingered and is apparent in Gropius' Bauhaus manifesto.
 
 
  Former Post & Telegraph Offices. Windsor, Victoria.

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