See Stickley

Earlier this week the Newark Museum in New Jersey premiered an exhibition, Gustav Stickley and the American Arts & Crafts Movement.

Inspired by the likes of John Ruskin and William Morris, Stickley's eminently recognizable furnishings are synonymous with Arts and Crafts, Craftsman, or Mission decor, i.e. plain, well-made, and anti-ornamental. They include tables, desks, and chairs, but also light fixtures, metalware, and textiles. Illustrated here: a linen chest designed by Stickley in 1902 that showcases his reverence for oak and iron (from the collection of the Dallas Museum of Art, which organized the show). While Stickley did not start the Arts & Crafts movement, he is one of its most famous proponents, due, in part, to his Craftsman magazine.

If you happen to be in the area now through January 2, it looks to be a beautiful exhibit. On November 20-21, a woodblock printmaking workshop that coincides with the exhibit might give you just the impetus you need! And if that's the case, be sure to make a day trip of it -- drive west about 25 miles to see the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms in Morris Plains, NJ. It is a stunning log house that Stickley used as a home and furniture-making commune. I can vouch for it, having visited about six or seven years ago. It is lovely, even more so during the holidays.