The San Diego Museum of Art is proud to present Gustav Stickley and the American Arts and Crafts Movement. Organized by the Dallas Museum of Art, this is the first nationally touring exhibition to focus on the career of Stickley (1858–1942), one of the leading figures of the American Arts and Crafts movement. The exhibition will examine Stickley’s contributions to the history of American design and architecture during his most productive and creative period, from 1900 to 1913, and will provide new insights into the artistic, commercial, and social context of Stickley’s work. From The Craftsman magazine to his own stores in New York, Washington and Boston, Stickley offered customers a complete lifestyle based on his philosophy of simple design and quality materials. Ranging from furniture to metalware and embroidered textiles to architectural designs, the majority of the more than 100 objects in the exhibition are from private collections and have never been seen before by the public.
One of the exhibition’s highlights will be the re-creation of the dining room first displayed in the 1903 Arts and Crafts Exhibition organized by Stickley and exhibited in his Syracuse Craftsman Building. Other highlights include an armoire, ca. 1907-1912, which Stickley kept for his private use in the decades after he sold his business, and works showcasing his experimentation with different varnishes, which can still be seen as a patchwork of colors on the undersides of the drawers. Also on view will be a rare armchair, c. 1903, with copper and wood inlay reflecting Stickley’s brief foray into decorated Arts and Crafts furniture influenced by the work of progressive British and Scottish designers.
The exhibition finds a particularly appropriate venue in San Diego, which has a rich heritage of Arts and Crafts architecture and decorative art. Communities such as North Park and Mission Hills are well known for their historic homes from this era. Marston House, at the edge of Balboa Park, was designed by local architects William Sterling Hebbard and Irving John Gill and is one of California’s finest examples of the Arts and Crafts movement. San Diego also saw the production of Arts and Crafts pottery, tiles, and metal work.
The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated 272-page catalogue, Gustav Stickley and the American Arts & Crafts Movement, by Kevin W. Tucker, The Margot B. Perot Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Dallas Museum of Art, with essays and contributions by Beverly K. Brandt, David Cathers, Joseph Cunningham, and Beth Ann and Tommy McPherson and an introduction by Bonnie Pitman, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art.
Gustav Stickley and the American Arts & Crafts Movement is organized by the Dallas Museum of Art in association with The San Diego Museum of Art. The exhibition is supported by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Henry Luce Foundation. Publication of the exhibition catalogue is underwritten by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Windgate Charitable Foundation.
The presentation of the exhibition in San Diego is supported by A.O. Reed & Co., the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program, Lynne and Rob Hayes, The Karen and Michael Stone Family Foundation and Members of The San Diego Museum of Art. Institutional support for the Museum is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.