Stickley’s Own Collection Shown THIS Weekend PLUS Gardens and Gables at Gamble House and a Virtual FLW Summer Camp!

by Kate Nixon


Items from Gustav Stickley’s Own Personal Collection are Showcased This Weekend

So many collectors know Gustav Stickley as the businessman and a leading figure of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, but what about Gustav Stickley as a collector? This weekend, you’ll have the chance to find out as items from Stickley’s own personal collection will be shown up close and personal in a special Zoom course titled “Craftsman Farms Today: Highlights from the Collection.Click here to start the registration process for the “Craftsman Utopia” classes.

In the latest online offering from The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, the course from the series “Craftsman Utopia” will explain the blending of Stickley’s family possessions with new, custom-made pieces made in the Arts and Crafts style. Each of these items will come with a story about Stickley, showing him behind-the-scenes and revealing new research about the man behind the company. According to instructor Jonathan Clancy, the showcase of Stickley’s personal collection allows them to tell a variety of both personal and professional stories that spans his whole career.


The South End of the Stickley Log Cabin at Craftsman Farms. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Clancy.


“There’s simply no other collection, regardless of size, that enables audiences to gain insight into his personality beyond what was presented in The Craftsman,” says Clancy. “In many ways, the collection transcends a mere grouping of his furniture because of the rich layers of history and autobiography only available here.  It allows me to move beyond general points and investigate the pieces with a specificity typically unattainable.”

Additionally, this upcoming session will bring the course of the historical study of Craftsman Farms to how it looks today in Morris Plains. “Over the past two weeks, we have looked at the development of Craftsman Farms,” says Vonda Givens, Executive Director of The Stickley Museum of Craftsman Farms. “Craftsman Utopia, Session 3 will give special attention to objects in the museum’s collections owned by Stickley and used to furnish the Log House, but it will also take a broader view, highlighting collections objects that are important, often rare, and expressive of Stickley’s Arts and Crafts ideals.”

This class will take place at 1:00 PM over the Zoom platform. For registration information on this course, please see the schedule below.


Hardware on the door of the Log House porch. Executive Director Vonda Givens says “Stickley’s home, the Log House, provides some of the most impressive and memorable objects in the museum’s collections. The hardware on the porch doors, featuring Stickley’s shopmark, is a good example. This hardware is beautiful and vividly demonstrates Stickley’s attention to detail in the Log House and across Craftsman Farms.” Photo courtesy of Jonathan Clancy.


Click here to start the registration process for these courses.

July 25th, 2020: Craftsman Farms Today: Highlights from the Collection

While Stickley’s decision to relocate to Morris Plains, New Jersey represented a fresh canvas on which to record his dreams, his choice of furnishings suggests that sentiment and memory were equal in strength to the allure of the new.  Rather than start over completely, Stickley blended the family’s possessions from Syracuse–including some made as his factory–with new, custom-made pieces designed to meet the requirements of his home.  This session looks closely at some of the iconic pieces Stickley owned, some furniture he designed during his tenure at Craftsman Farms, and some great pieces from the Museum’s collection that illustrate the essential tenets of the philosophy of design he promoted in The Craftsman.

August 1, 2020, 1 PM: “A Cheerful, Hospitable Home for Our Friends”: The Craftsman Building in New York City

When it opened in 1913, Stickley’s Craftsman Building in New York City must have seemed, at first glance, like an odd juxtaposition.  Located in central Manhattan, it was a twelve-story building, a veritable department store, with fine Lenox China in the restaurant on the top floor, built by a man who promoted the value of country living, the simple life, and the restorative value of the handicrafts.  Yet, in some ways, the Craftsman Building was a perfect reflection of Stickley’s broader goals, to disseminate his idealism and his products to a larger audience, to reform the look and practice of industrialism, and to reshape the manner in which the general public conceived of the home.  This session explores the final chapter of Stickley’s career–the peak and fall of the Craftsman movement–by examining the many different facets of his business in the Craftsman Building.

August 1st and August 8th, 2020, 4PM: “Furniture 101: A Visit to Bruce Johnson’s Workshop – A Special 2-part, Members Only event!

Take an exclusive virtual visit into the workshop of Bruce Johnson, founder of the National Arts and Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina and author of more than 14 books on antiques, woodworking, history, and Arts and Crafts. Planned for both newcomers and “seasoned” Arts and Crafts enthusiasts, Bruce will take on a variety of topics related to Arts and Crafts furniture and leave time for live Q & A at the end.

For information about additional classes happening in August, visit the Stickley Museum’s website.


Outdoor tours now available at The Gamble House


If you’ve taken an interest in the Arts and Crafts Movement in California, odds are you’ve seen the iconic interior of The Gamble House, known as the house of Doc Brown from the Back to the Future trilogy and most famous Arts and Crafts House in the country. While the interior is not yet open to the general public, The Gamble House has come back to work with a new outdoor tour available. Titled “Gardens & Gables: Exploring the Gamble House Outdoors,” the special one-hour tour of the house’s grounds and exterior is designed to introduce visitors to the house while reducing the risk of exposure to Covid-19, while educating them on the architecture of Greene & Greene and the development of the gardens, landscape, terraces, and porches and the materials and features of the house that make it unique.

Additionally, the outdoor offerings from the Gamble House continue with a guided walk around the historic Arroyo Terrace neighborhood, a National Register historic district, home to nine Greene & Greene houses and the houses of other noted architects such as Myron Hunt, Edwin Bergstrom, Elmer Grey, and D. M. Renton. The tour will also visit the elegant Greene and Greene-designed portals and gates of Westmoreland Place.

Advance ticket purchase is the only way to guarantee your spot on either of these tours. For more information on ordering tickets, please visit The Gamble House website.


Kids’ Summer Camp from the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust Goes Virtual

An annual tradition of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, the summer camp for kids exposed grade school students to the basics of architecture and the world of Frank Lloyd Wright. The tradition continues this summer as the first session of the trust’s virtual summer camp for kids kicks off Monday, July 27.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s forward-thinking designs shaped the course of architecture in the 20th Century. Budding architects and designers will be inspired as they explore the concept of home, from their own homes, during this week-long camp.

Each day of camp will involve live design sessions with our educators, discussions and brainstorming, virtual field trips of Frank Lloyd Wright Trust sites, and independent design challenges.

Grades 3-5: July 27th to 31st
Grades 6-8: August 10th to 14th
Register your grade school kids here!

As a reminder, Interior and exterior tours have resumed at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Robie House, and The Rookery Light Court in accordance with Phase 4 of the 5-phase “Restore Illinois” plan. Read about the guidelines of attending the Frank Lloyd Wright tours HERE.