Sunday, February 13, 2011
Photo gallery: Dallas Museum of Art’s Gustav Stickley Arts & Crafts exhibit
With vintage photos, architectural renderings, fabrics, and interactive displays, there's more to see than just furniture.
The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) opens its Gustav Stickley and the American Arts & Crafts Movement exhibit today, and for devotees of "Stickleyana" it will be a genuine delight.
But there's more to see than just the iconic furniture designed by Stickley and constructed in his workshops: The exhibit features a range of Craftsman-related accessories, such as glass and metalwork lamps, figured linen tablecloths, vintage photographs — even plans and renderings of Craftsman-style homes and interiors.
One of the highlights of the exhibit (which features over 100 Stickley-designed objects) is a recreation of the model dining room from Stickley's 1903 Syracuse Arts & Crafts exhibition, complete with interactive touch-screen interpretive display.
The exhibit is curated by Kevin W. Tucker, the DMA's Margot B. Perot curator of Decorative Arts and Design. After a three-month run at the DMA, the exhibit (which premiered at the Newark Museum in September 2010, in conjunction with the centennial celebration of Stickley's New Jersey home) will travel to the San Diego Museum of Art.
Participating in a tour hosted by Tucker was both an enlightening experience and a real hoot. It's obvious that Tucker knows his Stickley stuff, as would be expected of the exhibit curator. But what charmed me about his talk was his colorful use of language, as he described the sweeping social influence that Stickley's designs and philosophy had upon the early 20th century populace.
Phrases like "architectonic tension" and "fugitive colors" rolled off his tongue with aplomb; and when he described the "hung drawers" beneath a serving table, I'll admit I did a double-take.
Local furniture store impresario Rick Stacy was on hand as a special guest, along with several Stacy Furniture employees. Stacy Furniture carries reproduction lounge chairs and sofas of Stickley design, several of which were donated to the museum so people could get an idea what the original Stickley seating actually felt like to sit in. (It's quite comfortable, just FYI.)
Here are the full exhibit sponsorship details:
The exhibition is supported by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the DMA’s patrons and supporters with funds raised through Silver Supper 2010 and from the Donor Circle membership program through leadership gifts by the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Dallas. Publication of the exhibition catalogue is underwritten by the Henry Luce Foundation, the Windgate Charitable Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Air transportation in Dallas is provided by American Airlines. Promotional support provided by Stacy Furniture.
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