Running until May 8th, the Dallas Museum of Art is holding a comprehensive retrospective examining the life and work of Gustav Stickley, a name synonymously tied to the American Arts & Crafts movement. According to the museum’s website, “This exhibition will include over 100 works produced by Stickley’s designers and workshops, including furniture, metalwork, lighting and textiles, along with drawings and related designs.”
Ring pulls of the Arts & Crafts movement feature a strong backplate, angular design and heavy brass construction.
Stickley’s signature look took off in the summer of 1900 when he created a furniture line he dubbed New Furniture, later to be widely known as Arts & Crafts. Using quartersawn white oak and other locally grown woods, more than just furniture emerged from Stickley’s Binghamton, NY workshop–a philosophy was also born. Simple. Organic. An emphasis on craftsmanship and construction, the furniture of the Arts & Crafts movement relied on the beauty of the wood’s grain as the dominant decorative element. The idea of “truth to materials” informed the woodworking, eschewing superfluous ornamentation in favor of traditional skills. Furniture’s construction itself was highlighted as a thing of beauty. For example, exposed joinery is a trademark look. In general, the movement was born out of a backlash against industrialization and machine-made production. Although originally rooted in England, Gustav Stickley’s designs transplanted these principles to America and spread them through his furniture and magazine, The Craftsman.
These hammered knobs in a dark finish are best sellers, replicating the the hardware produced during the Arts & Crafts period.
Hardware was an important element to Arts & Crafts furniture, adding a signature look to the simple aesthetic. Hand forged hardware in hammered metals such as iron or aged copper were mounted on an otherwise unadorned design. Horton Brasses offers an extensive line of Arts & Crafts style hardware to complete the look of your furniture or kitchen. The manufacturing of the hardware is authentic to the name. Just check out some of the blog posts by smiths Molly and George to get an idea of true made in America manufacturing.
Are you in the Dallas area? Will you make it over to the exhibit? If you are unable to get there but still a Stickley fan, check out the museums DIY challenge and don’t forget your Horton Brasses hardware to finish off your project. Pictures? Yes, we’d love to see them!