Cover image for Gustav Stickley
Gustav Stickley
Cathers, David M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York, NY : Phaidon, [2003]

Physical Description:
239 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 30 cm
Stirrings of ambition, 1858-1898 -- Arts and crafts beginnings, 1898-1901 -- The pursuit of harmonious design, 1902-1903 -- "A man of unusual gifts" : Harvey Ellis, 1903-1904 -- The pivotal year, 1904 -- Standard Stickley furniture, 1904-1916 -- Metalwork and textiles, 1902-1916 -- Stickley in New York, 1905-1916 -- Craftsman Farms, 1908-1917 -- Late furniture, bankruptcy, and afterward, 1914-1942.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NK2439.S8 C38 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Gustav Stickley (1858-1942) is an iconic character and one of the most influential figures of the American Arts & Crafts movement. A self-made man whose furniture company, Craftsman Workshops, and the seminal magazine he founded in 1901, The Craftsman , held wide-ranging influence over American interior design and decorative arts for decades.

Though best-known as a designer of functional yet beautifully crafted wooden furniture, Stickley was also an entrepreneur and brilliant manager who assembled a talented team of collaborators to produce lamps, metalwork, textiles, plans for houses, and interiors. This is the first ever authoritative and comprehensive monograph on the life and career of Stickley, and constitutes an essential contribution to the field of American Arts & Crafts and decorative arts. It is generously illustrated with archival and specially commissioned photographs of furniture and objects, as well as people and places central to Stickley's life.

David Cathers is one of the most widely consulted scholars on Stickley, and this book gathers together years of his research and expertise. Gustav Stickley includes a chronology, bibliography and detailed biographical information on all of Stickley's significant collaborators, making it an indispensable research volume, as well as a sheer pleasure into which to delve.

Author Notes

David Cathers is a freelance writer and researcher on the Arts & Crafts movement, and is a much-consulted expert on Gustav Stickley. He is In addition, he contributes regularly to Style 1900 and American Bungalow. He began collecting Arts & Crafts furniture in 1973 and currently lives in Westchester County, New York

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Books such as these make reviewing a true pleasure. The book by Cathers (Stickley Style), a lavish, comprehensive monograph on the life and, in particular, the work of an originator of the Arts & Crafts furniture design movement in the United States, is a fine, deep, and impressive exploration. Gustav Stickley had wide-ranging influence as a designer, particularly through the periodical The Craftsman. He worked with simple lines, virtually shorn of ornamentation, and the materials and craft of construction took center stage in his furniture and, later, architectural designs (most often conceived and implemented by others). Produced on heavy, glossy paper stock, with several hundred illustrations, both color and black-and-white photography, and line drawings, this work meticulously highlights Stickley's enormous contribution to design. The bibliography and index make this volume particularly useful. Arts & Crafts Furniture provides a broader context for the design movement of Stickley's time, helping readers understand fully the revolution he engendered. The volume shines in its careful delineation and exploration of the differences among designers and the different styles of the time, facilitated by textual discussions, drawings, and photographs. The definitions are clear, and examples bring many stylistic distinctions into sharper focus. Though distinctly different in focus, both volumes are celebrations of the art and work particularly well in tandem.-Alex Hartmann, INFOPHILE, Williamsport, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Citing his concern with "forthright design and construction, sensible proportion and sound construction," Cathers gives Stickley (1858-1942), the "most significant protagonist of the American Arts and Crafts movement," a fair and balanced judgment. Cathers, a Stickley expert, covers the man's life chronologically, offers critical study of his furniture, and includes metalwork and textiles. The emphasis is 1900-16 when he was head of the famous Craftsman Workshops. Stickley's offices, design studio, retail shops, and factory are discussed; Cathers makes a careful, well-documented study of his businesses, his influence on the Craftsman magazine, and his role as a national tastemaker. His moves, various homes, and his eventual decline are chronicled; there is much emphasis on marketing. Eclipsing all others, this book is now the definitive study of Stickley and his production. Through careful, well-documented research, a comprehensive picture of the man emerges from the text and outstanding pictures from historical sources, including fine, detailed color plates of furniture. Appendix on Stickley's creative collaborators, who receive recognition for the first time, and another on fall-front desks, 1900-05, showing progressive design changes; chronology, 1858-1942; notes; comprehensive bibliography. For collections in 20th-century culture, furniture, antiques, decorative arts, and business history. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels. W. L. Whitwell formerly, Hollins College

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 8
Chapter 1 Stirrings of Ambition, 1858-1898p. 12
Chapter 2 Arts and Crafts Beginnings, 1898-1901p. 26
Chapter 3 The Pursuit of Harmonious Design, 1902-1903p. 52
Chapter 4 "A Man of Unusual Gifts"--Harvey Ellis, 1903-1904p. 80
Chapter 5 The Pivotal Year, 1904p. 104
Chapter 6 Standard Stickley Furniture, 1904-1916p. 124
Chapter 7 Metalwork and Textiles, 1902-1916p. 142
Chapter 8 Stickley in New York City, 1905-1916p. 166
Chapter 9 Craftsman Farms, 1908-1917p. 182
Chapter 10 Late Furniture, Bankruptcy, and Afterward, 1914-1942p. 196
Epiloguep. 208
Appendix 1 Stickley's Creative Collaboratorsp. 210
Appendix 2 The Stickley Fall-Front Desk, 1900-1905p. 218
Chronologyp. 222
Notesp. 224
Bibliographyp. 234
Indexp. 236
Acknowledgmentsp. 238