ART AND LIFE: THE ARTS AND CRAFTS MOVEMENT IN CHICAGO, 1897-1910 (PROGRESSIVE ERA, INTELLECTUALS, ILLINOIS)
This dissertation is an intellectual history of the "Arts and Crafts movement" which flourished in a number of American cities during the 1890s and early 1900s. It focuses on the writings, rather than the physical artifacts (i.e., furniture, ceramics, bookbindings, metalwork), that the movement produced. Historians generally have regarded the American Arts and Crafts as a nostalgic handicraft revival that accommodated itself to dominant capitalist values. This study demonstrates, however, that the movement was a significant response to the fragmentation of American society during the last third of the nineteenth century. By examining the Arts and Crafts community in Chicago, the leading center of the movement, we discover a concerted effort to integrate art, education, and labor, and make them more expressive of the nation's democratic and industrial life. Chapter I looks at the speeches made in Chicago by Oscar Wilde, Walter Crane, and C. R. Ashbee, and shows how they reflected the ideas of the original Arts and Crafts movement in Britain. Following this is an examination of Joseph Twyman, The Morris Society, and others in the local Arts and Crafts who responded enthusiastically to the key figure in the British movement, William Morris. Chapter II focuses on the Arts and Crafts at Hull House. The nation's most famous social settlement was home to the Chicago Arts and Crafts Society, the bookbindery of Ellen Gates Starr, and the "Labor Museum" which Jane Addams established in order to revive an interest among European immigrants in traditional handcraftsmanship. Chapter III is devoted to the main thinker in Chicago's Arts and Crafts community, Oscar Lovell Triggs. Particular emphasis is placed upon his relationship to the Industrial Art League and to connections between his literary scholarship and his advocacy of the movement. Finally, Chapter IV discusses the attempts by Triggs, Twyman, George M. R. Twose, and Rho Fisk Zueblin to interpret the meaning of Arts and Crafts objects.
Off-Campus Purdue Users:
To access this dissertation, please log in to our