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Gustav Stickley: American Craftsman
A documentary by Herb Stratford

68 minutes, color, 2021

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Gustav Stickley is one of the most recognizable names in American furniture. A visionary designer, he was the key driving force in bringing the Arts and Crafts movement to America in the early 1900s. His furniture work included what has become known as the Mission Style. Herb Stratford's new documentary offers an unprecedented look at his life and works as told through interviews, archival materials, and a close examination of his most iconic works.

Gustav Stickley: American Craftsman traces the development and evolution of Stickley's unique style as well as the creation of his diverse businesses, including furniture manufacturing, a ground-breaking Manhattan store, the Craftsman Magazine, and Craftsman Farms – a forerunner of the farm-to-table movement. The film visits several key locations in Stickley's lifetime, including his Syracuse home, where he lived and created his first arts and crafts interior; it also details the eventual loss of his businesses, and, after several decades, the rebirth and recognition of the movement he inspired.

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"Anyone interested in the Arts and Crafts movement of the 1900s will find this a riveting watch. I guarantee you’ll learn something new about a time in American history that most people know very little, and that makes watching this documentary worth it." - Alan Ng, Film Threat

"One of the best documentaries I’ve seen about art and craftsmanship: a richly detailed look at Stickley and his vision. We’re told wonderful nuggets of history, and see inside the current busy factory. Visually, the film is magnificent. Stickley’s furniture flows with its traditional classic lines and looks as modern as a spaceship to Mars. An exceptional film."- Michael Calleri, Niagara Gazette/Lockport News

"A must-see! Stickley is often referred to as a 'lifestyle entrepreneur,' and it’s easy to think of him as the inspiration for Ralph Lauren – not in his specific style but in his philosophy. Stickley was all about home, and he made people really think about the things they surrounded themselves with. His own home – which is a treat to see in the film – was filled with his pieces, each one lovingly and intentionally placed to serve a purpose. Director Herb Stratford gives historians, fans and Stickley’s family the opportunity to wax poetic...it’s eye-opening, especially since it translates to a way of life that goes well beyond furniture." - Lois Alter Mark, Alliance of Women Film Journalists

Disc Features

• DVD includes a Behind The Scenes bonus feature

• Optional English subtitles




Rotten Tomatoes

C.J. Hirschfield in EatDrinkFilms on Gustav Stickley and Designing a Life.

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