Gustav Stickley was revered not only as an Arts and Crafts furniture maker but also as an advocate for good design and a leading proponent of the American Arts and Crafts movement. Following Arts and Crafts values and precepts, his firm, the Craftsman Workshops, produced simple, well-made household furnishings that the new middle classes could afford. Stickley promoted these, along with his designs for interiors for the Craftsman house, through his popular magazine, The Craftsman, which he published from 1901 to 1916.
The rugs used in Craftsman interiors are, arguably, the most under-studied of all the decorative arts of the Arts and Crafts movement. These rugs were at once useful and beautiful, and they added subdued color, rugged texture, and understated pattern to the rooms they graced, playing a fundamental role in the visual harmony of the Craftsman domestic interior. Though Stickley was primarily a furniture maker and a publisher and did not manufacture rugs, he did choose them, and his choices completed the elegant simplicity of the Craftsman house. He often considered the art of rug making in The Craftsman, and he also used the magazine to advertise the affordable, well-designed rugs that he sold in his retail stores and mail-order catalogs for at least thirteen years.
Arts and Crafts Rugs for Craftsman Interiors considers both the rugs that The Craftsman recommended and designs by artists who influenced the work and philosophy of Stickley. Among the rugs discussed are works by British Arts and Crafts luminaries William Morris, Gavin Morton, C. F. A. Voysey, and Evelyn Gleeson; druggets imported from India; Navajo blankets and rugs; and rare Crex and Abnákee examples. Presenting an engaging study of an overlooked aspect of the Arts and Crafts movement, this essential publication includes more than 125 color and black-and-white illustrations, many of them featuring rugs drawn primarily from the collection of Crab Tree Farm.
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