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Gustav Stickley

American, 1858-1942

Gustav Stickley was one of the principal figures in the American Arts and Crafts movement and creator of the Craftsman style. As a furniture designer and publisher of the magazine The Craftsman, he adopted many of the ideals of British design reform movement and popularized both its philosophy and its aesthetics in the United States.

Born in Wisconsin, Stickley moved with his family to Pennsylvania when he was a teenager and began working in his uncle’s chair factory in the town of Brandt. There, he learned the techniques of the late-19th-century furniture making at a time when the vogue was for Victorian revival furniture, characterized by extensive ornamentation.

In 1883, Stickley established a furniture company with two of his brothers. When that foundered, he partnered five years later, with salesman Elgin Simonds, to form a new firm, which produced traditional furniture that appealed to the burgeoning American middle class. The success of this venture enabled Stickley to travel to Europe, where he discovered the writings of John Ruskin and William Morris, the two preeminent thinkers of the British Arts and Crafts movement. Stickley also traveled to France, where the Art Nouveau movement impressed him with its imaginative designs and skilled craftsmanship.

Stickley parted ways with Simonds at the turn of the 20th century, and decided to focus his creative energies on producing furniture in what became known as the Craftsman style, incorporating some of the elements of the designs and movements he had encountered in Europe.

The pieces Stickley created, which he stamped with the logo of a joiner’s compass, were rectilinear, largely free of ornament, made of oak, and built in such a way that the nature of their construction was plainly visible — all reflections of the tenets of the Arts and Crafts movement. His benches and rocking chairs were popular, and his leather-upholstered armchairs combined practicality, comfort and an understated silhouette. He also made side tables, like this unusual example, adorned with an octagonal Grueby Pottery tile in a cool shade of green, whicht makes it an ideal piece for an Art Pottery collector.

In 1901, Stickley launched The Craftsman magazine, which contained articles on all manner of domestic topics, from gardening and cooking to art and design, as well as poetry and fiction. In addition to popularizing Stickely’s own designs, the magazine acquainted Americans with the Arts and Crafts style in all its forms through its graphic design and the bungalows, art pottery, and hammered-copper lamps pictured in its pages. It also encouraged readers to practice craft themselves, promoting an early form of the do-it-yourself ethos. In 1904, Stickley founded the Craftsman Home Builders' Club, which allowed subscribers to the magazine to order architectural plans for the Arts and Crafts–style structures that were featured in its pages; eventually this became one of its most popular features.

An ill-timed attempt to set up a New York showroom led to Stickley’s filing for bankruptcy in 1915. The outbreak of World War I, waning interest in the Arts and Crafts style, and increased competition all conspired to thwart Stickley's efforts. The Craftsman ceased publication a year later. When he died, in 1942, Arts and Crafts had been replaced by modernism as the favored aesthetic. It enjoyed a resurgence, however, in the 1970s, and Stickley is now regarded as one of the most important American designers in the first half of the 20th century.

Find authentic Gustav Stickley tables, seating and other furniture on 1stDibs.

Gustav Stickley Mission Oak Arts & Crafts Desk or Library Table, Newly Restored
By Gustav Stickley
Located in South Bend, IN
A rare and exceptional antique mission oak Arts & Crafts writing desk or library table By Gustav Stickley USA, circa 1900 Measures: 40" W x 28" D x 29.75" H. From floor to a...
Category

Early 1900s American Arts and Crafts Antique Gustav Stickley

Materials

Oak

Rare Gustav Stickley Grueby Tile-Top Table
By Gustav Stickley
Located in New York, NY
A rare Gustav Stickley and Grueby Pottery table, circa 1901. Model no. 53-T, inset with hexagonal green-glazed tile top tabouret. Would make a nice complement to a Mission or Arts &...
Category

Early 20th Century Mission Gustav Stickley

Materials

Pottery, Oak

  • Rare Gustav Stickley Grueby Tile-Top Table
  • Rare Gustav Stickley Grueby Tile-Top Table
  • Rare Gustav Stickley Grueby Tile-Top Table
  • Rare Gustav Stickley Grueby Tile-Top Table
H 22.25 in. W 17.25 in. D 17.25 in.
Signed Gustav Stickley Antique Mission Oak Arts & Crafts Desk, Circa 1900
By Gustav Stickley
Located in South Bend, IN
A rare and exceptional antique Mission oak Arts & Crafts writing desk By Gustav Stickley (original label present) USA, Circa 1900 Solid quarter sawn oak, with original hamme...
Category

Early 20th Century American Arts and Crafts Gustav Stickley

Materials

Copper

Gustav Stickley Mission Oak Arts & Crafts Desk or Library Table, Newly Restored
By Gustav Stickley
Located in South Bend, IN
A rare and exceptional antique Mission oak Arts & Crafts writing desk or library table. By Gustav Stickley (original label present), USA, circa 1900 Solid quarter sawn oak, ...
Category

Early 1900s American Arts and Crafts Antique Gustav Stickley

Materials

Copper

Gustav Stickley Mission Oak Arts & Crafts Trestle Library Table or Writing Desk
By Gustav Stickley
Located in South Bend, IN
A rare and exceptional antique Mission oak Arts & Crafts trestle library table or writing desk By Gustav Stickley (original label present) USA, Circa 1900 Measures: 48" W x ...
Category

Early 20th Century American Arts and Crafts Gustav Stickley

Materials

Oak

41.5 Stickley Mission Collection Bookcase
By Gustav Stickley
Located in Pasadena, TX
From the Stickley Mission Collection reissued in the 1990s. 2005 Cherry construction with 4 adjustable shelves. Stickley seal and brand. Measures: 25" width x 15" depth x 41.5" heig...
Category

Early 2000s North American Mission Gustav Stickley

Materials

Cherry

  • 41.5 Stickley Mission Collection Bookcase
  • 41.5 Stickley Mission Collection Bookcase
  • 41.5 Stickley Mission Collection Bookcase
  • 41.5 Stickley Mission Collection Bookcase
H 41.5 in. W 25 in. D 15 in.
Massive Mission Oak c. 1920's Sofa Large Bench Sette Loveseat Couch
By Gustav Stickley
Located in Rockaway, NJ
Massive tall back and sides Arts & Crafts mission oak bench settee signed Stickley. Even arm early 1900s design.
Category

20th Century American Arts and Crafts Gustav Stickley

Materials

Oak

Gustav Stickley Settle #225 Even Arm Brown Leather Mission Oak Arts & Crafts
By Gustav Stickley
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Gustav Stickley settle #225 even arm brown leather Mission oak Arts & Crafts. Item features brown leather spring seat cushion, leather pillows, model #225, five vertical slats, solid...
Category

Early 1900s American Arts and Crafts Antique Gustav Stickley

Materials

Leather, Oak

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Gustav Stickley Sellers

Liberty & 33rd
4.9 / 5
Metro Retro Furniture MCM Furniture
4.6 / 5
Anthony Rosa
4.9 / 5
Antique Revival
4.8 / 5
Klismos Gallery
5 / 5
Refined Furnishings
4.7 / 5
Soho Treasures
4.7 / 5
Splendid Antiques
5 / 5

Creators Similar to Gustav Stickley

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Gustav Stickley Furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Gustav Stickley Furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our Gustav Stickley furniture collection, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. In-stock we have 16 vintage editions of these items, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. Many of Gustav Stickley's original furniture was created in the Arts and Crafts style in North America during the 20th century. Many customers also consider Furniture by Stickley Brothers, L. & J.G. Stickley Inc. and Grand Rapids Furniture Co. The prices for Gustav Stickley furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at $600 and tops out at $38,250, while pieces like these can sell for $4,995.