Changes in Store in 2020 for Craftsman Farms


From the desk of executive director Vonda Givens…

2020 promises to be a year of change at the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms: new building, new events, new exhibition, new staff. Looking ahead, I have to confess that I’m often slow to embrace new things. People who like new technology are called “early adopters.” I think of myself as a reluctant late adopter. While I may be hesitant to embrace change, I can see that, like the transition from winter to spring, change can breathe new life into the world, keeping it stimulating and fresh. I’ll be reminding myself of this as 2020 unfolds. I hope you’ll stay tuned and embrace the new with me.


What’s New in 2020 for the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms?

Over its 30-year history the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms has seen a lot of change in all its varieties—large and small, painstakingly slow and lightning fast. Some years bring more change than others, and 2020 promises to be a year of big change.

In 2020 we’ll open the new Education Center, now in the final phase of construction. The Center will provide vastly expanded program space at the ground level and on its top floor, new collections storage and the new Stickley Museum Library, a facility dedicated to research and study of the Arts and Crafts movement. The new Education Center is expected to not just change, but transform the property and museum operations.



In the late spring, we’ll introduce a new exhibition about Gustav Stickley’s early factory (we’ll offer a preview in the Great Hall for Arts and Crafts Conference attendees). The exhibition will feature new research and a newly-acquired rare collection of green ash furniture. It will be installed in the North Cottage, a new location for exhibitions and overseen by Jonathan Clancy, the museum’s new Director of Collections and Preservation (don’t miss his Small Group Discussion about the exhibition at the Conference).


The 2020 changes even extend to our annual Thursday evening event to launch the Arts and Crafts Conference. Over the years, this event has evolved from the Craftsman Farms Banquet to the Kickoff Party and now in 2020, to the Craftsman Reception. The Craftsman Reception, on February 20 in the Skyline Room of the Grove Park Inn, is taking place at a new time, 6:00-8:00 P.M., with a new menu of crowd-pleasing, hearty appetizers, instead of a full dinner, and local craft beer and wine. We’re also introducing a new program, a “Conversation with Herb Stratford,” the director of the forthcoming documentary Gustav Stickley: American Craftsman, which will premiere at the conference on Saturday evening.

Rest assured, though. While the changes are mounting, the most important things won’t change. The Craftsman Reception will still offer the same friendly, welcoming camaraderie that guests have come to expect. We promise time to connect with old and new friends, a lively program with our special guest and a fun-filled beginning to your conference.

What else is not changing? By supporting the event, attendees will still be supporting the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms. Event proceeds will benefit daily operations, and during this year of change, the opening of the Education Center and the Library.


Throughout 2020, as always, we also will remain committed to our mission to preserve and share the vision of Gustav Stickley, through his beloved Craftsman Farms, with both new fans and longtime enthusiasts from around the world.

We hope you’ll be part of the museum’s exciting year of change and why not begin with attending the Craftsman Reception? Support the museum and join us! For tickets and more, click here to visit our website or call 973-540-0311.