Today in History: The Father of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, Gustav Stickley, is Born

Gustav Stickley

Gustav Stickley (1858-1942) grew up in the Mid-West, but lived much of his adult life in Syracuse.  His promotion of the “Craftsman” style is most associated with furniture, but he also was a passionate advocate for complimentary forms in architecture. He published several plans in his magazine, The Craftsman, from 1904 to 1915. And versions of many were built across the country.

During this era, when many novel approaches to art were being explored both in Europe and America, Stickley was not the only proponent of a radical break from traditional, ornate residential architecture. In places like Chicago and Buffalo, Frank Lloyd Wright was also opening eyes to new architectural forms with his “Prairie School” house designs.

Stickley was interested all facets of the decorative arts, and that was reflected in The Craftsman and its articles, which included American painting and art. Interestingly, a 1906 story extolled artists who painted particularly American scenery rather than copying the colorful, flowery work of French Impressionists, which the article referred to as a “blight.”

On what would have been Gustav Stickley’s 159th Birthday, we invite you to join the Gustav Stickley House Foundation as they celebrate this remarkable man and his enduring legacy. Restoration is about to begin at the Columbus Avenue house in Syracuse and they are excited to share an artist’s rendering of the restored exterior. There will be many more updates in the coming months and we will keep you posted. We encourage you to visit there website often to follow the progress. You can also learn about the history of the house here.

Gustav Stickley House, Syracuse, NY

Gustav Stickley House Exterior Restoration Rendering