Stickley was a significant American furniture designer who was heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement, which he had experienced at firsthand, having travelled to England early in his career. He was an important designer of what became known as ‘Mission Furniture’ His many brothers were also involved with furniture manufacture including Charles, whose Stickley‐Brandt Furniture Company was in business from 1884 to 1919, Leopold and George, who ran the L. and J. G. Stickley Company, and George and Albert, who ran Stickley Brothers from from 1891 to 1907. Although originally trained as a stonemason Gustav himself began his own furniture business after more than a decade in furniture making, establishing his own company in 1898. His first rather austere range, New Furniture, was launched at the Grand Rapids Furniture Show of 1900. From 1901 Gustav's company was renamed Craftsman with an accompanying magazine of the same title, edited by Irene Sargent of Syracuse University, which sought to promote his arts and crafts ideals. From 1903 he worked closely with designer Harvey Ellis who became editor of the Craftsman and enjoyed considerable success and sales. As a result the company moved to New York in 1905 and licensed manufacturing franchises across the United States. However, in the face of strong competition from many imitators as well as his own business expansion, his company went bankrupt in 1915 and, in the following year, his factory was purchased by his brothers Leopold and George and continued in business as the Stickley Manufacturing Company.
Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.