Arts and Crafts was an architectural movement in Great Britain born in the second half of the nineteenth century as an opposition to the overwhelming effects of the industrial age on society. The supporters of Arts and Crafts cultivated the simple, hand-made forms whose originality they sought in folk or historical (e.g. medieval) motifs. The folk themes, an important design source of the Arts and Crafts movement in other European areas (e.g. Central and Eastern Europe) were amassed in a subgenre, also known as vernacular.

On the American continent, the Arts and Crafts movement became fashionable at a later time, in the last decades of the nineteenth century, and its full development can be located in the 1930s. Here too, the Arts and Crafts represented a criticism to Victorian architectural styles, to their excessive decorations. Here too, supporters of this style sought originality and simplicity of forms, and, above all, they focused on the importance of the local materials in achieving a specific style, a regional identity.

 In Fayetteville, north-west Arkansas, the Arts and Crafts style experienced a multitude of revivals, up to the present. An area full of unique modernist projects (e.g. the E. Fay Jones, Warren Segraves and, as of late, the Marlon Blackwell`s projects), the Arts and Crafts buildings follow closely the modernist trend, yet, they also lean to core influences of early British version of the movement like the medieval or folk influences.

We can rightly say that the Fayetteville/north-western Arkansas version of Arts and Crafts movement tapped aesthetically on the closeness of the Ozark mountains, particularly on their spectacular rock formations. The many houses and facilities whose facades display a sheer array of rocks are perhaps the best examples. This way we can say that the Arts and Crafts movement has been a direct ancestor to the style so-called Ozark Modern, a gathering of modernist buildings that can be met in the towns located in the vicinity of the Ozarks.

Source: https://arktimes.com/news/cover-stories/2016/10/14/10-examples-of-the-best-architecture-of-the-arkansas-ozarks [accessed on 1st of August 2019]

Text: Raluca Goleșteanu; Photos: Rod Jacobs

 

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