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With its emphasis on social reform and simplicity in design---bold lines, honest use of materials, and redeeming qualities of handmade goods---the Arts and Crafts movement offered an antidote to the perceived ills of a rapidly changing world and the ornate and artificial Victorian aesthetic of the late 19th century. In the first years of the 20th century, the movement was popularized in the United States through the efforts of Gustav Stickley (1858 - 1942), a businessman who promoted a progressive American style and the ideal of the simple life through the efforts of his furniture factory and publication,The Craftsman. Gustav Stickley and the American Arts & Crafts Movementaccompanies the first nationally touring exhibition of Stickley's work and explores his dual roles as a visionary business leader and enthusiastic proselytizer of design reform. The full range of Stickley's workshops is illuminated, including more than 100 objects of furniture, metalwork, and textiles, as well as architectural drawings and related designs, many of which are previously unpublished. Essays by distinguished contributors provide diverse viewpoints on the Arts and Crafts movement and Stickley's evolving role as tastemaker, and the often contradictory messages conveyed through the construction and promotion of his designers' works. This handsome volume provides fascinating new insight into the dramatic transformation of a factory owner into one of the leading figures of the American Arts and Crafts movement.
Kevin W. Tucker is The Margot B. Perot Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Dallas Museum of Art. Beverly K. Brandt is a professor in the School of Design Innovation at Arizona State University. David Cathers is a writer and consultant on Stickley. Joseph Cunningham is the curatorial director of the American Decorative Art 1900 Foundation. Beth Ann McPherson, formerly Curator for The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, is an acknowledged authority on American Arts and Crafts textiles. Tommy McPherson, formerly Director and CEO of The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, is the Director of the Mobile Museum of Art, Alabama.