Revivals: What’s the Difference?

February 4, 2015 - Michele Woodburn

Greetings Royal Friends and Followers,

When does a “style” or era cease to be an original and become a “Revival?” What is a Revival? What does it all mean?

It might be helpful to start by listing some styles and the time frames when they first made their appearance.

Gothic – Gothic style dates from the mid 1100’s to roughly the 1600’s. It developed out of northern France, and was actually inspired by Romanesque or Medieval style. In an odd way Gothic is something of a revival by itself. Because of the styles that inspired it, and because it continues to revive itself, I am treating it as a seperate style rather than a revival. (I’m the Queen, I get to define the terms.)

Tudor – This style came into being with the Tudor Dynasty beginning with Henry VII,  from 1485 to 1603. Tudor would have been one of the styles that the colonists brought to the New World with them.

Colonial – The Colonial era started when Europeans began to colonize the New World, in roughly the 1600’s (or 17th century). They brought with them what they knew, and duplicated it here. The period ends when we stopped being a colony, so around the time of the Revolutionary War. Colonists from various parts of Europe brought styles that had some differences and some that suited climactic areas better, so there are several sub-categories of Colonial Style, including Dutch Colonial, Spanish Colonial, French Colonial, German Colonial, Mid-Atlantic Colonial, and Colonial Georgian. By the time of the Revolutionary War, these all had become recognizable as a distinct American style with regional differences.

Georgian – The period covered by the rule of the Hanoverian Kings, ran from 1714-1837.  The time frame generally covers the rule of the four ‘Georges’:  George I (1660-1727), George II (1683-1760), George III (1738-1820), and George IV (1762-1830). The time frame tends to include one ‘William’, or William IV (1735-1837) whose reign was short, and extends the Georgian era to 1837.

Victorian – Another era named for the ruler, Her Royal Highness, Queen Victoria. She and the style ruled from 1837 to 1901. (I know, for some of us she still rules!) She was actually also a Hanoverian, being the niece of William IV.

Eastlake – Named for Charles Lock Eastlake, who was tired of the excesses of the Victorian Era. The Movement ran from 1870 to 1900 developing during the late Victorian Era.

Art Nouveau – A natural style arts movement defined largely by Alphonse Mucha, it ran from 1895-1905.

Edwardian – Named for Victoria’s son, Edward VII, it runs from 1901-1910, or 1912 (when the RMS Titanic sank), or 1914 (the start of World War I), or 1918 (peace with Germany), or 1919 (The Treaty of Versailles), depending on who you choose to listen to.

Arts and Crafts – Another movement rebelling against the excesses of the Victorian and Industrial Eras, it ran from 1905-1935. This Era features names like Gustav Stickley, Greene and Greene, Frank Lloyd Wright, Julia Morgan, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Charles Limbert, Dirk Van Erp, Elbert Hubbard and oh, so many more!

Art Deco – The period runs from roughly 1920-1935, and includes sub-style Art Moderne.

BauhausWas an art and Utopian lifestyle movement founded in Weimar, Germany by architect Walter Gropius. Active from 1919 to 1933, it started a stylistic revolution.

Mid Century Modern – The period from roughly 1933-1965, inspired in part by the Bauhaus movement.

This gives you an overview of some of the major style periods. Simply put, anything after these time frames is a Revival of the style, or “after the style of”. Some of the details I will expand on later may redefine some styles as an evolution of an earlier style, but more on this in another post. All of this may serve to raise more questions than I’ve answered here. If so, let me know! Tell me which styles you want to learn more about, what are your favorites? I will be doing more in-depth “style” and “Revival” articles in the weeks to come and it makes sense to start with what you want to see first.

I want to extend many hearty thanks to Wikipedia, World Book, and Encyclopedia Britannica for making my life both easier, and far more interesting.

Ta Ta for now,

Her Studious Majesty, Queen Michele