American Arts and Craft Books of the Craftsman

Gustav Stickley and the American Arts and Crafts Movement

Furniture maker Gustav Stickley (1858–1942) is often cited as the leader of the American Arts & Crafts movement. His Craftsman Farms in New Jersey is testament to the ideals, beliefs, and the value of hand-crafted homes and furnishings. As editor of the monthly magazine, The Craftsman, Stickley generally printed two house designs each month from 1904 to 1916. That's a lot of floor plans, home sketches, and blueprints. Here is a sampling of authors and  publishers who have gathered many of these useful designs, still relevant today.

1
Craftsman Homes

Craftsman Homes: More Than 40 Plans for Building Classic Arts & Crafts-Style Cottages, Cabins, and Bungalows by Gustav Stickley
Craftsman Homes: More Than 40 Plans for Building Classic Arts & Crafts-Style Cottages, Cabins, and Bungalows by Gustav Stickley. Book cover image courtesy Amazon.com

Subtitle: More Than 40 Plans for Building Classic Arts & Crafts-Style Cottages, Cabins, and Bungalows

This book is a great overview of Gustav Stickley's magazine, The Craftsman. Not just a book of house plans, the publisher has reproduced  Craftsman-style interior furnishings and essays expressing Stickley's philosophies—e.g., the benefits of a simplified lifestyle—just as the magazine did. From Lyons Press, 216 pages.

2
Stickley Style: Arts and Crafts Homes in the Craftsman Tradition

Stickley Style: Arts and Crafts Homes in the Craftsman Tradition
Stickley Style: Arts and Crafts Homes in the Craftsman Tradition. Book cover image courtesy Amazon.com

Author David Cathers provides his readers with the necessary background to carry on with the Stickley philosophy. Beauty, harmony, and simplicity were not just stylistic words to Gustav Stickley. They are the American Craftsman Tradition. The lover of the American Arts and Crafts movement will appreciate the history behind the Stickley Style. From Simon & Schuster, 1999, 224 pages. Buy from Amazon »

3
Craftsman Bungalows: 59 Homes from The Craftsman

Craftsman Bungalows: 59 Homes from
Craftsman Bungalows: 59 Homes from "The Craftsman". Book cover image courtesy Amazon.com

This publication picks and chooses bungalow house plans from the many issues of The Craftsman. A cottage at Craftsman Farms would be considered a bungalow compared with the Craftsman Farms Log House.  From Dover Publications, 128 pages.

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4
More Craftsman Homes

More Craftsman Homes - Floor Plans and Illustrations for 78 Mission Style Dwellings
More Craftsman Homes - Floor Plans and Illustrations for 78 Mission Style Dwellings. Book cover image courtesy Amazon.com

Gustav Stickley didn't invent the "mission style," but the name stuck after the Spanish Missions in America's southwest adopted the simplistic beauty The Craftsman designs. This book is a compilation of house plans and essays from the original magazines published in 1912. From Dover Publications, 208 pages.

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5
Craftsman Homes

Gustav Stickley Craftsman Homes - Architecture and Furnishings of the American Arts and Crafts Movement
Gustav Stickley Craftsman Homes - Architecture and Furnishings of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. Book cover image courtesy Amazon.com

Subtitle: Architecture and Furnishings of the American Arts and Crafts Movement

The Arts and Crafts Movement began in England as a response to mechanization and industrialization of products—the Industrial Revolution, that also started in the British Isles. Products from the American Arts and Crafts Movement became known as Craftsman from being promoted in Stickley's magazine, The Craftsman. Stickley provided his subscribers with free blueprints and home plans, which different publishers today have reprinted. This Dover Publication, 224 pages, is similar to the Lyons Press book above. Buy from Amazon »

6
Stickley's Craftsman Homes

Stickley's Craftsman Homes by Ray Stubblebine
Stickley's Craftsman Homes by Ray Stubblebine. Book cover image courtesy Amazon.com

At over 500 pages, this book by Ray Stubblebine has been called the magnum opus of Gustav Stickley's designs from The Craftsman magazine. The author has carefully researched and included all of the house plans from Stickley's magazine. From Gibbs Smith, 2006, 536 pages. Buy from Amazon »

7
Gustav Stickley's Craftsman Farms

Gustav Stickley's Craftsman Farms: The Quest for an Arts and Crafts Utopia by Mark Alan Hewitt
Gustav Stickley's Craftsman Farms: The Quest for an Arts and Crafts Utopia by Mark Alan Hewitt. Book cover image courtesy Amazon.com

Subtitle: The Quest for an Arts and Crafts Utopia

If you can't make it to Craftsman Farms, Gustave Stickley's Utopian home, school, and farm in northern New Jersey, then this book is the next best thing. New Jersey architect Mark Alan Hewitt, FAIA, looks at the National Historic Landmark inside and out. And if you have a question, he's on Facebook. From Syracuse University Press, 2001, 248 pages. Buy from Amazon »

8
Twenty-Four Craftsman Houses with Floor Plans [Try Stickley for Free]

Twenty-four Craftsman houses, with floor plans. by Gustav Stickley
Twenty-four Craftsman houses, with floor plans. by Gustav Stickley. Book cover image in public domain courtesy archive.org/

Yes, The Craftsman is out of copyright and in the Public Domain, so why would you buy one of these books?  You don't have to. Here's an old Stickley book that you can look at for free online.See if you can experience the beauty, harmony, and simplicity advocated by this Master Craftsman.