The Dining Room

These two views of the Dining Room that were published in The Craftsman in 1911, along with the Inventory attached to the Bill of Sale for the property in 1917, form the backbone of what we know about the furnishing and use of the Dining Room during Stickley's time at Craftsman Farms.   While they do not offer a view of the entire room, in combination with the inventory, later photographs, and photographs of the space during the Farny family's residence, we are able to construct a fairly complete picture of the Dining room.  The north end, seen below, was exclusively a space for meals and demonstrates the manner in which Stickley's own taste was more nuanced than the one he promoted in his magazine.   Indeed, the blend of English Arts and Crafts, his own furniture, French Art Nouveau purchased in Siegfried Bing's shop in Paris, and what appears to be Delft plates on the walls reveals a more complicated sense of taste than his role as "spokesman" for the Arts and Crafts movement in America might suggest.

The view below, that highlights the sideboard anchoring the east wall of the Dining Room, is essential to broadening our understanding of Stickley's aesthetic world and offers crucial insights into how the room was used.  While it is tempting (mandatory even, from the size of it) to focus on the sideboard, it is what is on it, above it, and to the far side of it that tells a bigger story.  From transferware plates to Victorian serving pieces to the copper wares, the sideboard is literally cluttered with objects and information that shows again a depth of taste and influence we are only beginning to understand.  The far end of the Dining Room is but a suggestion in this photograph, but the large cabinet from his Syracuse offices, the telephone stand, and the desk and chairs denoted in the inventory suggest the space had an area for working or writing at this end.  In many ways, this is not surprising, as the room–which measures 50 feet in length–was designed on a scale approapriate to the clubhouse Stickley envisioned, rather than the domestic needs of a family.    

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