First Run Features presents "Gustav Stickley: American Craftsman" on Virtual Cinema.
The rise, fall and resurrection of the father of the American Arts and Crafts movement is chronicled in this new documentary, which offers an unprecedented look at the life and works of Gustav Stickley 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, and the Craftsman Magazine and Craftsman Farms — a progenitor of the farm-to-table movement. It also details the eventual loss of his businesses, and, after several decades, the rebirth and recognition of the movement he inspired.
The film visits several key locations in his lifetime, including his Syracuse home, where he lived and created his first arts and crafts interior, and the pump house at Skaneateles Lake in upstate New York, which he restored as a summer family camp; as well we meet some of the talented collaborators Stickley surrounding himself with, such as Harvey Ellis, Lamont Warner and Irene Sargent.
"A fascinating saga!" -Leonard Maltin
"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 about Stickley’s pieces...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
Directed by Herb Stratford
68 minutes, color, 2021
In English (with optional English SDH captions)