James E. Bryan teaches art history, with an emphasis on the history of design, at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He is a member of the board of directors of Wilson Place Mansion, and of the board of directors of the Dunn County Historical Society.

By This Author

OBJECT HISTORY: Wilson Place Door

The Wilson Place Mansion front door was crafted at the turn of the twentieth century, likely by a well-known Arts and Crafts Movement blacksmith named Thomas F. Googerty. Wilson Place Mansion was the home of James Huff Stout, a lumber baron, longtime state senator, and philanthropist.

A detail of rose vines twining through lattice created by William Morris as part of the Arts and Crafts movement.

The Arts and Crafts Movement

Founded in Great Britain by author, designer, and political activist William Morris (1834-1893), the movement spread to the United States by the late 1880s. The Arts and Crafts Movement combined nostalgia, higher standards of workmanship for consumer goods, and concern over the poor working conditions and pollution of the Industrial Revolution.

image showing a class of students in the late afternoon sun working in a metalsmith shop

The Stout Institute and Educational Innovation

At the Stout Institute, James Huff Stout supported a new approach to formal education in which students learned not only from textbooks, but also engaged in hands-on activities to gain advanced technical skills. In 1891, Stout established new programs offering technical education for boys and domestic science for girls through the Menomonie Public Schools.