Mission Furniture and Styles






 
Finding Mission Style Furniture

Everything About Mission Furniture                 

Mission furniture is a true American art form that continues to be popular as both a collector's item and contemporary furniture design. The exact origins of this design are unknown, but the story most often quoted is that Mission furniture was created by the congregation of a San Francisco church around 1890. Having no money, they decided to build the furniture themselves, constructing pieces resembling furniture found in the Spanish mission stations of Mexico and in the western and southwestern parts of the U.S.. The term "Mission Furniture" was given to this particular style of furniture, and though the style was begun in the West, it was a New York-based designer, Joseph McHugh, who began manufacturing Mission furniture for the masses.

Mission-style furniture was popular in the United States between 1890 and 1914 and was an element of the Arts and Crafts movement. This movement stressed the importance of preserving the handcrafted furniture, and was a counterpoint to the more lavishly styled furniture of the Victorian period. Given that manufactured goods of the period were often poor in design and quality, the Arts and Crafts movement stressed the revival of individual craftsmanship. Shoddy mass-produced goods would be replaced with beautiful objects created by skilled hands, and this furniture reflected the ideals of the movement. Mission-style furnishings were simple, elegant and practical, and made from natural, unpainted wood and other earthy materials.

Mission-style furniture of the time was constructed almost exclusively of weathered or fumed oak. Characterized by straight lines, and mortise, tenon, and dowel joinery, this style of furniture was usually free of ornamentation, although large nail heads, simple cut out patterns or hand-hammered copper appliqués were sometimes used for decoration. Both original and contemporary Mission furniture is characterized by straight, clean lines and the simple appeal of quarter-sawn white oak with features of joinery, including through tenons, corbels and butterfly joints.

This website features two retail outlets, Lamps Plus and Pop's Unfinished Furniture (which has both unfinished and finished furniture) that will provide you with the furniture you want.

Mission Furniture
Mission Furniture Stores

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