“Gustav Stickley: American Craftsman” Documentary Heading for the Finish Line

The first feature film examining the life and work of Arts and Crafts movement pioneer Gustav Stickley is now in the final phases. Work on the project began in 2015 and has included filming in five different states, and in over nine cities and numerous locations, including such iconic locales as Craftsman Farms and his Columbus Avenue home in Syracuse. The team behind the film has also interviewed numerous individuals related to the Stickley story including family members, historians, and collectors, as well as filming objects from the history of the Stickley legacy. A short preview of one part of the film was screened at the 30th annual National Arts and Crafts Conference last February at the Grove Park Inn with great anticipation.


The filmmakers have now completed 90% of principal photography and just have a few additional shots to be completed prior to heading into the editing process. They have launched a crowd funding campaign to cover some of the final post production costs such as editing, image rights, audio production, etc. If funding is secured, the film will be completed in 2018.

The film traces the rise of both Gustav Stickley, as well as the Arts and Crafts movement, in the time period leading up to the first World War, and covers the re-awakening and appreciation for the style, craft and genius of Gustav Stickley. Thanks to unprecedented access to private collections, family archives, and key locations, the film documents the history, art and beauty of the work of Stickley and some of his peers.

The filmmakers worked closely with acclaimed author and historian David Cathers to frame the story of this iconic pioneer of American furniture, architecture and décor. Extensive shooting at Craftsman Farms over a period of two years allowed the team to capture details and elements from the collection that are often not experienced during a visit. Additional locations, such as the Stickley home on Skaneateles Lake in upstate New York and the former Manhattan retail store, round out the story of Stickley as it’s never been seen before. Additionally, footage captured at the 30th annual Arts and Crafts Conference in 2017 demonstrate the living legacy of the movement with new crafts-people working side-by-side with collectors and dealers who are all dedicated to the tenants of the movement.

Plans for the finished film include a film festival run, and hopefully a release on public television prior to a DVD release. If you are interested in supporting the project please visit:


Also, you can follow the project on Instagram (gustav_stickleydoc) and on Facebook (facebook.com/GustavStickleyDoc/) as it moves towards completion.