Times & Places

20th Century Design: 1910-1919

Although World War I dominated the second decade of the 20th century, many other significant events occurred. Industrial and financial monopolies controlled much of America's wealth and political processes, but protest and reform was also in the air. The nation's romance with the automobile and the movies also began in this decade, and the art world experienced many important movements. Stylistically, much of Europe and the Americas was dominated by the Art Nouveau taste. However, the Arts and Crafts movement, which had developed in the late 19th century and was based on the ideas of Englishmen John Ruskin and William Morris, was highly influential in Great Britain, Austria, Germany, and the United States until World War I. The original goal of the movement was to reform the public taste and give dignity back to artisans by reviving handwork. Typical of the arts and crafts style are plain surfaces, obvious joinery, and simple shapes.

Adapted from

Dallas Museum of Art, Hot Cars, High Fashion, Cool Stuff: Designs of the 20th Century (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1996).