Wright is the premier auction house specializing in modern and contemporary design. Since 2000 we have sold nearly 40,000 lots across the spectrum of 20th and 21st century design. We have pioneered whole fields of collecting and transformed the market for modern design. Our dedication to design drives what we do and who we are.
Gustav Stickley, whose name is synonymous with Craftsman furniture, was a visionary American proponent for the Arts and Crafts philosophy in design, literature, and life. At the peak of his career, his furniture was sold throughout the country, Craftsman houses built in many areas, and _The Craftsman_ magazine widely read. After bankruptcy in 1915, Stickley was largely forgotten until the 1970s, when his importance as a designer was rediscovered by a new generation.
The eldest son of first generation German immigrants, Stickley was born into a family that owned furniture-manufacturing businesses. He found inspiration in the writings of John Ruskin and William Morris and the well-built, hand-crafted furniture and the brotherhood of honest labor they espoused. In 1898 he established the Gustav Stickley Company in Eastwood, a suburb of Syracuse, New York. He adopted a William Morris motto, "Als ik kan" ("If I can") and used the symbol of a medieval joiner’s compass as his trademark.
Stickley’s furniture was a radical departure from the American furniture of the Victorian era. Surfaces were unadorned, mortise and tenon joinery and wood grain exposed. The hammered metal hardware underscored the artisanal look of furniture, which was fabricated both by hand and by contemporary woodworking machines.