It began with a pair of andirons—beautiful Craftsman Workshops No. 100 andirons—original to Gustav Stickley’s Log House at Craftsman Farms. Through the generosity of a long-term loan from the Leeds Art Foundation, the andirons returned to the Log House in 2016, prompting conversations about “originals.” In short order, the conversations evolved from the andirons to a china cabinet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to an Art Nouveau candelabra passed down through the Stickley family. In time we had a full-blown exhibition. But I’m getting ahead of myself! The following article has all the exciting exhibition details. Consider this my personal invitation to see it. You’ll be glad you did! – Executive Director Vonda Givens
The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms is pleased to announce a new exhibition Original: Gustav Stickley Furnishes His Log House, co-curated by Dr. Jonathan Clancy and Peter K. Mars, taking place from May 20 to December 31.
From 1911 to 1917, Gustav Stickley established Craftsman Farms as his ideal country estate. The Log House, the heart of the property, served as a showcase for his signature Craftsman Workshops furnishings. In 1917, the demise of Stickley’s business forced the sale of his beloved Craftsman Farms. Today, 100 years later, it is a National Historic Landmark, and the Log House, Stickley’s architectural masterwork, is a museum honoring his lasting legacy. The Original exhibition will commemorate this key year in Craftsman Farms history and celebrate Stickley’s achievements with a fresh focus on his Log House interior.
Offering new insights into the museum’s own collections, the exhibition will feature its core collection of original furniture and seldom-seen ephemera, such as documents associated with the sale of Craftsman Farms. It will feature important loans, including an original elm cabinet, returning after more than 40 years at The Met in New York City, and an original inlaid oak desk from Crab Tree Farm. Family heirlooms, reunited within the Log House, from Art Nouveau china by Edward Colonna to two George Defeure electric candelabra, purchased during Stickley’s European travels, will also be part of the exhibition.
“Original is giving us the opportunity to study and exhibit objects that are rarely seen, several of which have never been on public view,” writes Peter K. Mars. “With the addition of heirlooms loaned by Stickley descendants, this will be the most personal exhibition the museum has mounted.”
Focused on the blend of special commissions, English and French decorative arts, and furnishings with sentimental value that Stickley selected for his home, the exhibition, as Jonathan Clancy states, “…sheds light on Stickley’s aesthetic by examining not only his role as a producer of goods and a tastemaker, but as a consumer too….I think in many ways we get a rare glimpse of Stickley’s humanity—his contradictions, complexities, and diverse tastes—not simply the carefully curated positions of a tastemaker. Visitors will see the objects and the space in a new light and see sides of Stickley that were frequently hidden by his broader business reputation.”
Assembled at the height of Stickley’s entrepreneurial success, the original furnishings of the Log House provide a unique look into the taste and mind of one of the Arts and Crafts movement’s most original thinkers. Join us to celebrate his vision!
From May 20 to December 31, the exhibition may be viewed on regular tours of the Log House, which run hourly Thursday to Sunday, 12:15 to 3:15, year round.
For more information, please go to: www.stickleymuseum.org.