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Stickley In S.D.

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Stunning. That’s an apt description of the current exhibition, Gustav Stickley and the American Arts and Crafts Movement, at the San Diego Museum of Art. Stickley, who was a leading figure of the American Arts and Crafts movement, emphasized simple design and highest quality materials in every project he undertook. In addition to his architectural work, he designed a wide range of objects, including furniture, embroidered textiles, and metalware. Most of the more than 100 objects in the SDMA exhibit have been drawn from private collections and have never before been publicly shown. There is balance and serenity in the work of Stickley, who lived from 1858 to 1942. Those qualities stem from the fact that he adhered to Arts and Craft principles, which dictate traditional craftsman handwork, not mass manufacturing. Stickley’s pieces were created as a protest against mounting industrialization. For sheer beauty, view Stickley lamps, which are both organic and ornamental in final forms. But, every object placed in the exhibition is exquisite, lovingly included in a wonderfully curated show. On view through September 11. (619/236-7466, www.sdmart.org)   DARLENE G. DAVIES

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