At Home With Gustav Stickley: Arts & Crafts from the Stephen Gray Collection

At Home With Gustav Stickley: Arts & Crafts from the Stephen Gray Collection

by Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser
     
 

During his first years as an Arts and Crafts furniture maker, from about mid-1900 to early 1904, Gustav Stickley and his designers created the most significant cabinetwork his firm would ever produce. For the most part made of quarter-sawn American oak, this furniture was substantial, subtly proportioned, essentially rectilinear, and built using traditional joinery

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Overview

During his first years as an Arts and Crafts furniture maker, from about mid-1900 to early 1904, Gustav Stickley and his designers created the most significant cabinetwork his firm would ever produce. For the most part made of quarter-sawn American oak, this furniture was substantial, subtly proportioned, essentially rectilinear, and built using traditional joinery—for instance, tenon and key, dovetail, pinned through tenons—and employing hand-wrought copper or iron hardware. These structural elements were both functional and symbolic, literally holding the furniture together while also expressing its moral aesthetic: though a factory product, every piece was solidly, honestly made.

Stephen Gray is among those few who, early on, recognized both the inherent beauty of Arts and Crafts furniture and the value of the Craftsman Ideal. His collection includes many of the rarest forms and has few equals, but in two regards, it is almost singular: Stephen Gray lives with this major collection and has embraced the Craftsman Ideal in a beautiful, simple, personal, regionally sensitive manner. He lives in a nineteenth-century country house and has integrated an important collection with the ideas of decorating, lifestyle, and sensitivity to environment that were central to the Craftsman enterprise. Through Stephen Gray’s collection, it is possible to explore the disparate values of the Arts and Crafts Movement, the Arts and Crafts interior, and the tensions inherent in the pursuit of an aesthetically simple Ideal life.
This lavishly illustrated book features Stickley’s furniture, including many photographs of Stickley designs in use, and it also includes some fine examples of art pottery, lighting fixtures, tiles, and color woodblock prints. The essays by David Cathers on Stickley’s early work and Tommy McPherson, who compares Stephen Gray’s living room to Stickley’s own living room at Craftsman Farms, put Stickley’s work into perspective. The introduction by Stephen Gray touches on collecting and living with Stickley.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A must for anyone interested in the American Arts and Crafts movement." —Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780918333247
Publisher:
Wadsworth Atheneum
Publication date:
10/31/2008
Pages:
120
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
3 Months

Meet the Author

ELIZABETH MANKIN KORNHAUSER is Krieble Curator of American Painting and Sculpture at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. LINDA H. ROTH is the Chief Curator at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. DAVID CATHERS is a writer, researcher, and lecturer. He has written numerous books on Stickley and the Craftsman Movement in design. TOMMY McPHERSON is the Director of the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama.

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