Visit a New Stickley Museum
If you’re in the Finger Lakes region of New York, stop by the new museum in the original L. & J.G. Stickley factory. by Brian D. Coleman
THIS UTTERLY SCENIC part of central New York State is named for eleven freshwater lakes between Lake Ontario and the Pennsylvania border. For Arts & Crafts aficionados, the Stickley Museum in Fayetteville is a must-see. (This new, furniture-centric museum is not to be confused with the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, located at Gustav Stickley’s log home and family estate in Morris Plains, New Jersey: stickleymuseum.org.)
The L. & J.G. Stickley operation just 20 minutes from Syracuse has the longest tenure of all the various Stickley enterprises. Collected there are thousands of items that stretch from Gustav Stickley’s earliest work to furniture just off the shop floor. Today’s Stickley company had long wanted to create a museum showcasing the history of American Arts & Crafts furniture. The idea grew when factory operations moved, in 1985, to a state-of-the-art facility down the road in Manlius. During the move, historic materials were found in unused closets and even under floorboards. Furthermore, friends and clients have been donating early pieces since the 1990s.
The old factory was sold to the Fayetteville Free Library. Fittingly, the Stickley Museum now occupies the second floor. Since 2005, Stickley’s owners and resident historian have worked with students from the graduate program in museum studies at SUNY–Cooperstown. It’s been a great collaboration, with the nascent museum gaining professional expertise and the students a real-world experience. Two displays not to miss: The chair made for the Dalai Lama, and a Gustav Stickley dresser with one discolored drawer face. Ask about it!
Free public tours Tues. and Sat. and by appointment. (And a tour of the working Stickley Factory in Manlius is given on Tuesdays at 10 am.) The Stickley Museum, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville, NY: stickleymuseum.com a
ABOVE The sign on the old L. & J.G. ptickley factory in cayetteville. TOP eighlights of the collection housed on the top floor of the factory. OPPOSITE The Great ooom at the ooycroft fnn, East Aurora.