No reference can be made to the Arts and Crafts movement in America without prominent mention of the name Stickley. Not only was the Stickley family responsible for many of the Arts and Crafts objects that were produced during the era, but they disseminated and embodied the philosophy of the movement as well.
    The Stickley brothers provide a rare opportunity to explore the Arts and Crafts ideal as interpreted by representatives of a single extended family. This allows us to investigate the nature of the movement - which argued that the living and working environment melds individual character - while contemplating the nature of the family. Understanding the origins of the design aesthetics found in the Stickleys' production in general, and comparing specific designs by the two most prominent brothers, Gustav and Leopold, in particular, leads to a discussion of their unique personalities and the family's dynamics. Analyzing the evolution of their businesses, and the phases that influenced their products' changing aesthetics, invites comparisons with the shifting dynamics of the family itself, where members assumed changing roles and responsibilities over the years as its structure and resourses fluctuated. It does seem clear that ultimately the family's cohesiveness and mutual support enabled its members to create works which stand both as exemplars of the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement and as classics of American design.

Some books on Stickley can be found in our bookstore.


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