Frank Lloyd Wright gallery opening


It's a bit off the beaten path, but if you find yourself anywhere near Racine, WI (just a bit south of Milwaukee) you could not do better than to stop at the SC Johnson headquarters, where a new gallery devoted to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright is opening this week. The initial offering - a broad meditation on Wright's most popular Prairie-style work - will run for a year, to be followed by other exhibits focusing on various aspects of the architect and designer's work.

Several buildings at the SC Johnson campus are Wright creations, so you'll want to schedule a tour to see those as well.

4th Annual Arts & Crafts Chicago show & sale

Just got this press release in my inbox. If any of you go, please send me photographs! And remember, the Frank Lloyd Wright home & studio is in River Forest, too, so you could easily make a nice weekend out of this:

The 4th Annual Arts and Crafts Chicago Show and Sale is coming back to Concordia University in River Forest on Saturday, May 30th and Sunday, May 31st 2009. Focusing on mission furniture and accessories of the American Arts and Crafts Movement (approximately 1890-1920), this show will truly be one you won’t want to miss. You’ll find 20th Century Decorative Arts including furniture, metalwork, pottery, textiles, art and lighting; everything from Stickley, Limbert, Roycroft, Rookwood and much more. Over 50 of the nations leading dealers will be on hand to answer questions and advise on how to decorate your home. This specialized event has proven to be one of the premiere antique and contemporary shows in the Midwest.

Dealers attending this year’s show are coming from all across the country. We have dealers from Massachusetts, New York, California, Texas as well as the best dealers from the Midwest. JMW and Crones Collectibles from Massachusetts will be featuring high-end pottery from the Northeast such as Grueby, Saturday Evening Girls and Marblehead, as well as furniture and accessories. Jack Papadinis Antiques, Connecticut, will be showcasing some of the premiere lighting in the country and David Surgan from New York will offer the best Heintz Collection for sale in the country. Paramour Fine Arts, which specializes in arts and crafts era woodblocks and art, will be on hand showcasing some fabulous artwork from the era. Local dealers such as John Toomey Gallery will be exhibiting as well, highlighting Midwest artists such as Frank Lloyd Wright, TECO and Jarvie.

Not only is this an antique show, but the weekend will showcase the highest quality contemporary craftsfirms as well. Ephraim Faience Pottery, Door Pottery, Arts and Crafts Hardware and Dard Hunter Studios will be in attendance, just to name a few.

With the success of the show over the last three years and with the rich tradition of bungalows, as well as the Prairie School heritage of Frank Lloyd Wright, Chicago has proven to be a perfect fit for this specialized show.

Homeowners interested in educating themselves as to the appropriate furnishings for their turn of the century bungalows and craftsman style homes shouldn’t miss the 4th Annual Arts and Crafts Chicago Show and Sale, Saturday May 30th, 2009, from 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday May 31st from 11 am – 4 pm at Concordia University at Geiseman Gym in River Forest, Illinois. Admission price is only $7 each. Free parking on site in a 5-level garage. No parking on Monroe.

Live Auctioneers has plenty of treats

Picture 1 Live Auctioneers are a gateway / aggregator to hundreds of live (and non-live) antique auctions. Among the thousands of items viewable and biddable, there are hundreds of terrific items of interest to Arts & Crafts aficionados. Here are a few of my favorites from upcoming auctions:

17th annual Pasadena Craftsman weekend, October 17-19

Jenny Strauss at Style 1900 passes on this press release on the coming weekend's home tour in Pasadena:

Pasadena Heritage presents its 17th Annual Craftsman Weekend on October 17-19, 2008. The event is the largest and most comprehensive celebration of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the Western United States.

The signature event of the Weekend is the Craftsman House Tour. This in-depth, drive-yourself tour allows guests the opportunity to experience the rich variety of Craftsman architecture that makes Pasadena a destination for Arts and Crafts enthusiasts from across the country. Experienced docents will provide detailed histories of each of the six featured homes while guests examine the natural materials, fine craftsmanship, and exquisite detailing that exemplify the Craftsman era.

On this year's tour, we are pleased to feature two homes designed by Sylvanus Marston, one of Pasadena's most prominent architects. Near the banks of the Arroyo, the Bishop House of 1911 beautifully demonstrates the heightened elegance of Marston's Craftsman designs, especially in its spacious wood-paneled living room. The home was commissioned by Maitland L. Bishop, who moved to Pasadena in 1909 to recover from tuberculosis and was famous as the city's oldest practicing lawyer at the age of eighty-seven.

Designed in 1912, the Marston-designed Lacey House in North Pasadena will also be open for visits this year. This low-slung bungalow beautifully harmonizes with its surroundings, and has been described as the "quintessential Arts & Crafts ideal". The home features a massive boulder foundation that was likely gathered from nearby Eaton Canyon. The interior includes a striking barrel-vaulted ceiling, a bird-motif Batchelder fireplace, a billiard room, and beautiful leaded glass built-ins.

The Clark House, a Pasadena Historic Landmark designed by Frederick Louis Roehrig, is celebrating its centenary this year. The house, which is located in the architecturally rich Madison Heights neighborhood, is designed with a Swiss Chalet influence, and features an unusual side entry. The beautiful interior is centered on a prominent brick fireplace with an inglenook likely inspired by Roehrig's travels in England. In honor of its anniversary, the home has received an Arts & Crafts appropriate kitchen remodel.

In celebration of the significant Greene & Greene anniversary and events of 2008, this year's tour will include two properties by the architects that have rarely been open to the public: the Edgar Camp House and the Wild Wood Cottages. The Camp House, a true mountain bungalow in Sierra Madre, was designed in 1904 by the Greene Brothers, with Henry Greene returning in the early 1920s to add a second story. The expansive, rustic living room of the home holds many similarities to that of the now demolished Bandini House from 1903, part of which will be recreated in the Greene & Greene exhibition at the Huntington.

Originally simple structures for a dairy farm, the cottages of Wild Wood were remodeled in the Craftsman style by Henry Greene in 1922-24, and were only discovered to be the work of the architect within the last ten years. These cabins have been described as "one of the most intriguing design projects undertaken by Henry in the early 1920s," and the secluded, idyllic property of Wild Wood also includes an unusual boulder amphitheatre that may also be the work of Greene. Join Pasadena's tour to learn more about the fascinating history of this special compound.

The Craftsman House Tour will take place on Sunday, October 19 from 9 am – 4 pm. Tickets for this event are $45 and include entrance to the Furnishings and Decorative Arts Show & Sale at the Masonic Temple on Saturday, October 18 from 9 am – 5 pm, and Sunday, October 19 from 10:00 am – 5:30 pm. For tickets and information please call Pasadena Heritage at 626-441-6333 or visit us online at

Chicago Arts & Crafts Show, May 17 & 18

Longtime reader David Ford of Ford Craftsman Studios reminds us of the upcoming third annual Chicago Arts & Crafts Show, this coming weekend - May 17 and 18. Dozens of dealers will be present at the show, which is held at Concordia University in River Forest. Two workshops - one on stenciling and the other entitled "Light and Color: The Essentials of the Craftsman Home" will be offered for a small fee; admission to the show itself is $7.

events this month

  • now through August 10: Gustav Stickley: The Enlightened Home - Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown NY.
  • May 10: 7th Annual Home & Garden Tour, Los Altos CA - $40 per person to tour many of the area's most historically important and aesthetically impressive Arts & Crafts era homes. Like everything else in Los Altos, it's overpriced, but the houses should be impressive.
  • May 17: Wright Plus Housewalk - get a rare look at interiors of several private homes designed by FLW at this 34th annual benefit event.
  • May 17 & 18: 10th Annual Colorado Arts & Crafts Society Show & Sale - exhibitors will show off antiques and contemporary furniture, textiles, metal and ceramic work. Golden, Colorado; $10 per person.
  • May 17 & 18: Portland Bungalow Show - vendors, lectures, demonstrations (including one on window repair). Portland, OR; $7 per person, extra charge for lectures.
  • May 18: Museums of the Arroyo Day - free admission to the Gamble House, Lummis House, Southwest Museum of the American Indian, Heritage Square Museum, and more; Pasadena, CA.

Gustav Stickley exhibit opening in Cooperstown tomorrow

Cooperstown's Fenimore Art Museum will open their long-planned Gustav Stickley: The Enlightened Home exihibit tomorrow, April 1 2008. The large exhibit - including more than 40 Stickley-made items - will run through August 10. The items, which include furniture and a wide range of decorative items, were drawn from numerous sources including the Stickley Museum in Fayetteville NY, Dalton's in Syracuse, the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms in New Jersey and several private collections.

historic homes show in San Diego this weekend

Logo1 This Sunday, March 15 2008, SOHO (Save Our Heritage Organization) will lead an historic home tour through five spectacular houses in the Mission Hills area. Two Craftsmans, two Spanish Colonial Revivals, and a Pueblo Revival home will be featured, with more than enough time for architecture buffs to pore over the myriad architectural details in each.

Additional related events on Saturday and Sunday morning include guided tours of Fort Rosecrans, classic tile of the region, 30 classic apartment bungalow courts and a special gift shop aimed at "armchair architectural critics" and others outside the Whaley House in Old Town.

According to the Union-Tribune, some of the details in the featured homes are really exemplary, such as the hand-tooled copper fireplace hood at the 1912 McMurtrie / Witherow House on Ampudia Street.

This annual event is a major fundraiser for San Diego's premiere historic preservation organization, and the price is well worth it; the tours are extensive and led by local experts, and I'd say it'd be worth a drive or train trip even from LA to attend at least one or two of these events.

Frank Lloyd Wright house tours in Oak Park

Flw_harry_s_adams This Old House's terrific Hardware Aisle blog is always full of good stuff - tool and material reviews, pointers to new techniques, and last week an article on Frank Lloyd Wright house tours. Read the whole article on their site:

Why does it captivate us to walk through the homes where legends lived or worked?

It started with Superman's Fortress of Solitude, then Ricky Schroder's sweet living room on "Silver Spoons," and later the suggestive banister at Sigmund Freud's pad.

Come May 17, 2008 architecture devotees will flock to Oak Park, Illinois, which is base camp to explore a cluster of homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his contemporaries.

The homes range from a Civil War-era Italianate built around 1860 to the Harry S. Adams House (pictured) built in 1913-14.

Los Gatos historic homes tour

We are reminded that this year's Los Gatos historic homes tour is coming up this weekend (Nov 3 & 4, 2007). A $30 ticket (a tax deductible donation to the History Museum of Los Gatos) gets you an all-day (10 am - 4 pm) tour of six outstanding historic houses in Los Gatos' historic district. If you live in the Bay Area, this is quite a treat; the small and very well maintained historic community may not be well-known outside of the Peninsula, but it should be - this neighborhood has some of the prettiest historic homes in Northern California.

"The Connection" - October 26-28 2007 on the Roycroft Campus

Knottroycroft Last week, Sandra Starks sent us a press release on an upcoming conference at the Roycroft campus:

East Aurora, NY - The great minds of the turn of the 20th century is the theme of this intimate gathering of Arts & Crafts enthusiasts.  It is the International Arts & Crafts Movement and the great men and women who espoused its philosophy that changed the world a little over one hundred years ago.  From the 1860s to the 1920s, this historic social and artistic eruption that turned against the Industrial Revolution and embraced a human connection to our material surroundings was meant to discover a better way to live.

The Arts & Crafts Revival, now approaching the same number of years as the original wave, has also become a phenomenal reaction to intellectual progress i.e. the electronic world.  This revival and the education it offers is another opportunity to balance life for the future with the hand and heart!

All of the Roycrofters celebrate our treasure of Arts & Crafts sites in Western New York and we recognize that, as it was then, we are all connected to the rich legacy of Arts & Crafts worldwide.

For more than 20 years, the Roycroft Campus has intermittently hosted long weekend conferences with a focus on brining together top-notch scholars to emphasize the wealth of knowledge and share it with colleagues and friends from near and far.

art by Raymond Knott, from the conference's identity

Continue reading ""The Connection" - October 26-28 2007 on the Roycroft Campus" »

historic window workshop in Sacramento, CA

Sacramento's Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association and the Sacramento Bungalow Heritage Association are fighting a winning battle against cheap, unsightly and - in the long run - inefficient and environmentally damaging vinyl, aluminum and composite windows. Their solution? Fix your old wooden windows before switching over to something that seems like a good deal - but actually isn't.

This coming October 6 and 7, they're offering two workshops on the basic repair, maintenance, weatherization and repair of historic wood windows.

Volunteer instructors from the community will demonstrate how they worked on their own windows, preserved the character of their historic homes, and saved their pocketbooks!  Historic windows were made to be taken apart and repaired, and with basic guidance, anyone can make their windows work as they originally did - with ease of operation and weather tight – and beautiful!

We ran a short piece about these workshops and the woman behind them two years ago; again, much thanks to Janice Calpo not only for the heads-up, but more importantly for making Sacramentans aware of the benefits of our old homes' original windows!

Arts & Crafts Home: newsletter #68

Mark Golding - owner of Brighton's Arts & Crafts Home shop and aficionado of all things Arts & Crafts - released the 68th edition of his electronic newsletter this past weekend. As usual, the newsletter is jam-packed. In addition to ads for interesting new items at the shop itself, Mark's loaded the newsletter with a calendar of interesting events all over the UK & elsewhere - open houses, gallery shows, lectures, special events, and plenty more. Mark also includes many useful "trade secrets" for antique collectors in this issue.

Woodland CA home tours: September 8, 2007

2007posterimage_l Woodland is a small bedroom community just outside Sacramento, and several of my colleagues live there and commute in to the Capitol and other downtown offices. I was gratified to hear that the city is hosting a home tour - I've always been very impressed with the number of beautiful old Craftsman homes in the city's core (although, unfortunately, much of Woodland is now being subsumed by suburban sprawl, identical tract homes in very uninviting gated and anonymous "communities" that are anything but).

Several free guided walking tours of the town's several historic neighborhoods, house tours of a number of important houses in the area, music, a pancake breakfast and plenty more (including guides in period costume) are all part of this year's "Stroll Through History." Home tour tickets are $25 and may be purchased online. Hopefully events like this will revitalize the historic neighborhoods and maybe even teach developers that there's a market for well-built, non-cookie-cutter homes with quirky inconsistencies, color, and warmth.

Frank Lloyd Wright & the house beautiful

From June 28 through October 8, the Portland Museum of Art is presenting a new exhibit showcasing "Frank Lloyd Wright’s passion for creating a new way of life for Americans through architecture."

In particular, the exhibition focuses on his legendary skill in creating harmony between architectural structure and interior design while fulfilling the needs of a modern lifestyle. Featuring approximately 100 objects, the exhibition includes furniture, metalwork, textiles, drawings, and accessories from the collections of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and other public and private collections. Curated by Dr. Virginia T. Boyd, professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Frank Lloyd Wright and the House Beautiful conveys the methods through which Wright implemented the philosophy of the “house beautiful.” The exhibition explores how Wright sought to develop a modern interior reflective of a uniquely American spirit of democracy and individual freedom, illustrates his development in integrating the space with furnishings and architectural elements, and shows his experiments with bringing these ideas to the homes of average Americans.

Several podcasts and audio programs relating to the exhibit are also available:

Billings MT seeks Craftsman homes for annual home tour

Planning for the Billings Preservation Society's annual Heritage Home Tour is under way, and this year the tour will feature homes in the Craftsman bungalow tradition.

If you have such a home and would be interested in participating in the tour, please call Paul Whiting at 406.252.5646 as soon as possible.

The tour will be on May 12, preceded by a panel discussion on May 10.

The panelists will discuss the history, care and restoration of homes built in this tradition.

The Billings Preservation Society promotes historic and cultural preservation activities in our community.

courtesy of Gazette News Services

Chicago Arts & Crafts Show - update

Our friend David Ford, of Ford Craftsman Studios (makers of some of the nicest contemporary Arts & Crafts textiles, stencils and tiles I've seen), sends the following update regarding the Chicago Arts & Crafts Show, coming up on May 11 and 12 on the Concordia University campus.

The date has been set and I think all of the contracts for dealers have been sent in for the 2nd annual Chicago Arts & Crafts show at Concordia University in Oak Park, Illinois. Last year’s show had a great turnout with a pretty good split between new craftsmen and antique dealers present. The web page was recently updated with a list of the vendors.

Sacramento Antique Market

This past weekend I went to the Sacramento Antique Faire, under the freeway just north of Broadway. It's really grown over the years - they now take up two whole parking lots, almost completely protected from the rain, and have some really excellent dealers taking part. I saw lots and lots of Bauer and other depressionware in excellent condition and at very good prices, and one dealer - whose name I neglected to get - had a terrific selection of Roycroft copper, Grueby and Newcomb and other art pottery, and one of the prettiest pieces of A&C metal I've ever seen - a silver on green bronze Heintz inkwell.

With the exception of one angry dealer who wouldn't allow photos to be taken even though the Faire is on public property (apparently he had fallen prey in the past to some kind of Ebay scam, where people used photos of his work to advertise things they didn't even have to sell) - he made me delete the photographs - everyone I met was wonderful and wanted to talk about what they collected and sold. The fair is held the second Sunday of every month and is definitely worth a visit should you be within an hour or two of Sacramento.

more details on the Style 1900 party in Asheville

Jennifer Strauss posts on the Style 1900 list about a special cocktail party at the Asheville conference. Should you be at the Grove Park Inn for this wonderful annual get-together, show and conference, please do stop by to say HI to the Style 1900 folks for us:

As many of you know, Style 1900 is throwing a cocktail party during the Grove Park Inn Conference to celebrate our 20th Anniversary.  The party is on Saturday, February 17, from 8-10pm, at Elaine's Piano Bar, 6th Floor, Vanderbilt Wing, at the Grove Park Inn.

Early birds to the party will receive a special canvas tote bag, with gift items generously donated by:

Bungalow Bob's Pet Designs • CJ Hurley Century Arts • Craftsman Auctions • Dard Hunter Studios • Door Pottery • Ephraim Faience Pottery • Fair Oak Workshops • Ford Craftsman Studios • Motawi Tileworks • Old California Lantern:  Flashlight • Penelope Cloutier • Roycroft Shops • Russ Billington Graphic Arts • Skidmutro Creative & Layout • Style 1900

Of special note is the contribution by Ephraim Faience Pottery. They are placing a custom wrapped chocolate bar in each gift bag.  Underneath one of the wrappers will be a golden ribbon. The person who gets the candy bar with the golden ribbon will win their Unity
Bridge Vase
, which is part of their 10th Anniversary Collection. Kevin from Ephraim will attend the reception and present the winner with the vase, which will be on display at the party.

Arts and Crafts Revival Society of Boston

reader Carl Close Jr., an artist blacksmith at Hammersmith Studio, forwards the following notice and hopes that other craftspeople in his area will be interested in forming a latter-day craftsperson's guild:

Are you an artist or craftsperson that works in the Arts and Crafts style? I am a metalworker in the Boston area and want to start a group that fosters the ideals and philosophies of the founders of the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston. I thought it might be fun to also have an exhibit called Then and Now, a show that could showcase past masters and what similar artists are doing today to revive the Arts and Crafts Movement. So if you are a wood carver, metalworker, potter, book artist, silversmith, furniture designer, pleinair painter or any other historically-styled craftsperson, and live in the Boston or New England area, please let me know if this would be of any interest. You can contact me off my website,, or write me email.

Thank you - Carl Close, Jr, artist blacksmith

Roycroft Campus big weekend coming up!

Boice Lydell, a Roycroft collector 'extraordinaire' and expert on Arts & Crafts antiques, will be present at the Roycroft Inn salon this coming Sunday, November 12, from 1:30 to 4 pm. For $5 per item he'll give a professional verbal appraisal of your family heirloom (or, as the Roycroft Campus blog puts it, your "flea market find"). He cannot appraise firearms or coins. Mr. Lydell will also open up the Roycroft Arts Museum on Sunday afternoon for a very special and personal look at part of his extensive collection of Roycroft objects.

Boice's appraisal service is one part of the Connection: 2006 Arts & Crafts conference held on the Roycroft Campus from Friday November 10 through Sunday the 12th, and sponsored by Style 1900 Magazine. Featured speakers include:

Pasadena Heritage: Craftsman Weekend, October 20 - 22, 2006


Join Pasadena Heritage for their 15th annual Craftsman Weekend event and "immerse yourself in the American Arts & Crafts Movement." Note that prices have gone up, and a full weekend of events can easily break the bank for those not endowed with very high incomes; start saving now, because there's plenty you won't want to miss! This year's event includes:

  • a house tour on Sunday the 22nd from 9 am to 4 pm, with visits to siz period homes that "showcase the unique and individual styles of Pasadena's architects and builders," including an in-process remodel in North Pasadena Heights; The French House; the Bartlett House in Prospect; Greene & Greene's recently-restored Pitcarin House and others;
  • evening events, including a private tour of the Cordelia Culbertson House and an opening reception at the wonderful Pacific Asia Museum;
  • bus tours of Ventura, Pasadena's Landmark District, Greene & Greene properties and a tour exploring "the Native American presence in southern California and its significant influence on Arts & Crafts culture";
  • walking tours of Bungalow Heaven, Busch Gardens and Magnolia Avenue;
  • lectures from Paul Duchscherer, Mark Winter, Tim Gregory, Patricia Gebhard and Ann Scheid;
  • a special tour of the magnificent beaux-arts Fenyes Mansion and its enormous collection of California plein air paintings;
  • plus the usual - and this year, extraordinarily large - exhibits of antique and contemporary furniture, glass, ceramics, textiles, books, metalwork and more from a wide variety of dealers, designers and others.

Historic Seattle presents the 2006 Bungalow Fair

632920129441307076 On Saturday September 30 and Sunday October 1, join Historic Seattle for the 2006 Seattle Bungalow Fair. Over 50 Craftspeople in metal, tile, glass, textiles, ceramics, and lighting, antique dealers, architects, and interior designers will be exhibiting their work; the show and sale are opportunities to learn about early 20th century architecture and design and to ask questions and get answers from knowledgeable people in the field. It is also an opportunity for those who have been won over by Arts & Crafts period furniture and decoration to be visually stimulated and to think about ways in which to incorporate the many old and new offerings presented here into their homes. See details on the lectures and workshops planned for this year's Fair, or ger directions to Town Hall. Tickets are $8 pre-registered, $10 day of fair; children under 12 are free. Admission does not include a ticket to the special lectures, some of which have an additional fee.

Event sponsors include Old House Interiors magazine and our good friends at Rejuvenation Hardware, located in Seattle and Portland.

Saturday September 30: 10 am - 5 pm; Sunday October 1: 10 am - 4 pm

Craftsman Arts & Crafts Weekend: September 16 & 17

Rago Arts presents another auction weekend coming up in a few days. Previews run all week, 12-5 pm, at their Lambertville NJ auction center; the auction itself begins at noon on both Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th. The full catalog is available online, and you can also download two higher-resolution PDFs. As usual, an enormous volume of furniture, glass, ceramic and metal items will be available, as well as some graphic art and paintings and other miscellany.

Another Auction Record: Kappa Candlesticks, $60,000

Candlesticks60k Our friend Tamara Herrod, who handles PR for the folks at Treadway-Toomey, forwards us the following press release. $60,000! Well, some folks have an awful lot of money, don't they? Not that these aren't gorgeous - they certainly are - but, well, goodness.

Rare Pair of Kappa Candlesticks by Chicago Metalsmith Robert Jarvie Brings Record $60,000 at Treadway-Toomey Galleries' Auction

But man, the twofold creature, apprehends the twofold manner, in and outwardly, and nothing in the world comes single to him, a mere itself, - cup, column, or candlestick.
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

OAK PARK, Ill. -- A rare and perfectly matched pair of Kappa model bronze candlesticks handwrought by Chicago metalsmith Robert R. Jarvie fetched a record $60,000 at Treadway-Toomey Galleries' 20th Century Art & Design Auction on May 7.  The presale estimate was $10,000 to $15,000 for the pair. The graceful, 14-inches tall candlesticks had their fine original patinas and removable bobêches.    

Continue reading "Another Auction Record: Kappa Candlesticks, $60,000" »

Frank Lloyd Wright home to become Milwaukee museum

One of several homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for a local developer, a tiny 1915 home of unusual geometric design will become a museum in the near future. The Wisconsin Heritage Tourism Program will convert the 900 square foot home, originally built by developer Arthur Richards as part of his American System-Built program, into a museum showcasing Wright's experiments in low-cost housing for working class families.

One of Wright's central interests was in creating sturdy and attractive housing for urban neighborhoods; he wrote many times that people of all economic classes deserved good architecture, and this was one of many such collaborations in this area.

The group is currently raising money to rehab the property, which has fallen into disrepair, and has applied for a grant from the Save America's Treasures program and other sources. However, it is now open for regularly-scheduled tours (cost is $2 per person); Wright in Wisconsin has a schedule of the Saturday tours.

Arts & Crafts Conference in Minneapolis

The Arts & Crafts Movement: The Intersection of Regionalism and Internationalism — A Living Tradition (June 22 – 25, 2006 )

The eighth annual Arts and Crafts conference takes place in Minneapolis and environs under the aegis of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Art History, and in conjunction with the reopening of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). The MIA, which houses one of the finest collections of decorative arts of the period, will also be the site of formal sessions and other activities.

This conference explores how foreign influences were brought to bear on the region’s art and architecture, and how local practitioners transformed international influences to an individualized regional expression. We discuss the effect of trade and of travel between cities of major figures in the movement whose work is evident in Buffalo, Chicago, Minnesota and elsewhere throughout the nation, thus coming closer to understanding the dissemination of influence.

Download the conference brochure, or continue reading the whole conference introduction below.

Continue reading "Arts & Crafts Conference in Minneapolis" »

Live Oak Crafts Fair 2006

Gingkoyamamotoliveoak My favorite crafts fair in the country will be held this coming weekend. On June 10 & 11, do not miss the 36th annual Live Oak Park Fair in Berkeley, California: 125 artists and craftspeople vie for your attention, and there will be plenty of live dancers, musicians, and lots of great food and drink. It's outside, the weather should be terrific, and there's lots for kids as well.

The park in a residential neighborhood and you may have to park a few blocks away, but you'll get to walk through a neighborhood with plenty of beautiful Craftsman houses to and from the park. Here are driving directions and a map; there's also a free shuttle from the nearby North Berkeley BART station.

While you are at the fair, don't miss Jeannine Calcagno Niehaus's booth (#48). Jeannine is a wonderful ceramic artist and I have been a big fan of hers ever since I first saw her work several years ago at the same fair. She'll be there with lots of her beautiful vases and bowls and other pieces - the wisteria, gingko and eucalyptus designs are especially apt for anyone looking to liven up their bungalow. Tell Jeannine you read about her and her work here, and pick up a piece or two!

This year's image is by Yoshiko Yamamoto, whose work should be familiar to many of you - not just her graphic art, but also as author of the many books she's made with her husband, Bruce Smith. They also produce The Tabby.

Electric Tiffany


Reader Brenda Haines writes with info on an interesting show opening this coming Saturday at the Paine Estate & Gardens in Oshkosh WI. The exhibit runs through 8 October 2006.

In the largest exhibition of Tiffany lamps in 20 years, the Paine Art Center and Gardens showcases an extraordinary exhibit featuring 50 original lamps created by the studios of renowned American artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany. Tiffany created the exquisite lamps between 1895 and 1920. Electric Tiffany presents superior examples of the full spectrum of his inspired use of electric light.

Tiffany Studios produced more than 400 different designs for both shades and bases in a variety of forms, ranging from table and floor lamps to hanging fixtures. Botanical themes inspired most designs, but other motifs show Tiffany’s interest in insects, Moorish art and architecture, and geometric patterns. Electric Tiffany demonstrates this immense diversity and celebrates the creativity, innovation and exquisite craftsmanship of Tiffany’s magnificent lamps.

Frank Lloyd Wright archive to show in San Francisco

One of the world's largest private collections of Frank Lloyd Wright documents and objects will be on display at San Francisco's Charles Campbell Gallery from May 20 through June 24, 2006. The archive's owner, Bill Schmidt - a retired Bay Area art teacher - sold a portion of his collection to the Getty Museum in 1985, and the more than 30 remaining pieces will be the stars of this upcoming exhibit. Items to be shown include:

  • two Frank Lloyd Wright windows, one from the Darwin D. Martin House Complex in Buffalo, New York (1904) and one from the Walser House in Chicago (1903)
  • two black ink floral drawings by Frank Lloyd Wright (dated 1897)
  • a set of 13 building specification booklets, including New York's Guggenheim Museum
  • Taliesin Loggia Section Drawing, with comments in Wright's hand
  • photos taken by Wright
  • a Wright-designed 16" x 16" concrete block used in the exterior and interior of the Ennis House in Los Angeles (1923)
  • A pair of bathroom lamps from the Arizona Biltmore (1929)

Treadway Toomey Auction: May 7, 2006

The always-helpful Tamera Herrod writes to tell us about next month's Treadway-Toomey Arts & Crafts auction. This year's event, being held on May 7 2006, includes some really spectacular items, please check out several of them in our Flickr album; the rest can be seen in the online preview.

Arbiters of Craftsman Style: Influential Designs by Gustav Stickley, Limbert, L. & J.G. Stickley, More Will Be Offered May 7 at Treadway-Toomey Galleries' 20th Century Art & Design Auction

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but the craftsmanship of the originals fashioned by these visionaries - makers of the first truly American style of furniture - is beyond compare. 

OAK PARK, ILL. - Although it's been more than a century since Gustav Stickley launched his furniture revival in America, his influence in the industry today is omnipresent and demand for his authentic designs remains strong. On May 7, an impressive collective of desirable originals by Gustav Stickley, Charles Limbert, and Leopold & John George Stickley are expected to draw tremendous interest and prices at Treadway-Toomey Galleries' 20th Century Art & Design Auction. The event begins at 10 a.m. at John Toomey Gallery at 818 North Blvd., in Oak Park, Ill.

The auction will feature Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and Art Deco works in the first session, Fine Art and Paintings in the second, and 1950s and Modern in the third. More than 1,000 lots has been assembled, including ceramics, glasswork, furniture, metalwork, lighting, decorative accessories, sculpture, woodblock prints, drawings, watercolors, mixed media and oil paintings.

"We've gathered an outstanding selection of Arts and Crafts furniture from all the major makers," Don Treadway, gallery owner, said. "Most of the pieces have come from private homes in New York, Chicago, Detroit and California. We're offering an array of one-, two-, and three-door bookcases, an extensive group of Morris chairs, china cabinets, desks, lamp tables, settees, dining tables and chairs, and occasional pieces such as magazine stands and tabourets."  (continued below...)

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International Arts & Crafts at the De Young: first look

(03.19 addendum: I missed it earlier, but Kenneth Baker has a more extensive article on the same show, also in the Chronicle, with a lot more attention to the social issues that made the Movement so especially resonant at the time and fuel the academic approach to the revival today, while showing the contrast to the "flattened," watered-down approach to the decorative portions of the movement, popular in current suburban developments.)

Zahid Sardar has a preview of the International Arts & Crafts show - on loan from the Victoria & Albert museum and opening today at San Francisco's De Young Museum - in today's San Francisco Chronicle. I can't recommend the show enough - not only are there some terrific American pieces, like the Wright dining room set and items from Greene & Greene's Thorsen and Blacker houses, but a range of European A&C items, including a Saarinen-designed wall rug, Russian A&C pieces and plenty of Secessionist furniture with strong A&C ties make an appearance as well. 

The addition of several items of Bay Area provenance - textiles and furniture from the Mathews family and a few pieces of Maybeck (not enough, though, in my opinion, given the importance of his architecture on the movement as a whole) give this show special connection with the Bay Area.

I recommend visiting the De Young before June 18 to see the exhibit, but buy your tickets in advance, as they will limit attendance due to the narrow pathway through the exhibit and the relatively small amount of room for visitors.

Arts & Crafts Auction Weekend

Ragoarequipablue Yet again, my favorite A & C auctioneer is having a weekend auction jam-packed with amazing items. This time, RagoArts sent me a copy of their hefty catalog, which on its own is a great addition to any Craftsman book collection - the photographs of such a huge range of items make a great reference; it's $35 and can be ordered from their website. However, if you're anywhere near the auction house in Lambertville, NJ (not far from Philadelphia) on March 11 & 12 (yes, that's this coming weekend!), I doubt you could be doing anything much more interesting than attending the auction itself and picking up something special.

Now, though, that print catalog is available online (if you have the bandwidth) using the NxtBook technology, which emulates the full-page views and page-turning effects and some other bells & whistles - it's fun & a neat way to look at the catalog.

Without further ado, some selected highlights from this upcoming sale:

Sunday also includes a large number of more affordable groupings of ceramic, glass and copper items (and some other bits and pieces), some of which are quite attractive and priced to sell.

My only gripe is that there are very few unsigned items - I realize that the whole point of an auction like this is to liquidate important items and distribute them amongst serious collectors and museums, but it might be good for the movement as a whole if a larger number of inexpensive pieces were distributed amongst the stock - it could bring a lot of new collectors in, and would be a great base to do more education / outreach from. I don't think this would adversely affect the sales price of the more important items, either.

Tampa, FL Arts & Crafts Fieldtrips

Tampa's Old Seminole Heights neighborhood (more about this area in the future!) is one of the best-preserved Craftsman communities in the south. The main reason for this is OSHNA - the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association - which has done a terrific job of doing architecture / conservation education outreach in the community and beyond.

If you are in the Tampa area, you can join OSHNA for an upcoming fieldtrip on March 11. The all-day event will include a private tour of the Leepa-Ratner Museum of Art at St. Petersburg College's Tarpon Springs Campus, a lecture, afternoon tea and a panel discussion on various aspects of the Arts & Crafts movement and its application in Florida and the US overall.

And unrelatedly (except by geographic proximity), the historic neighborhood of Hyde Park will be offering a home tour this coming Saturday, March 4, and the week after that there's a similar tour in Tampa Heights.

Greene & Greene at the Huntington Library

Ted Wells of Living : Simple passes on this tidbit:

Starting February 23, four Greene & Greene pieces from the Dr. William T. Bolton house will be on display at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California: The entry hall table, the two entry side chairs (the exquisite, tall, Mackintosh-like designs), and the Barlow Bush curio cabinet. This is the first time these four pieces have been together since they left the Bolton house. It is incredible to see how the pieces visually interact when displayed as they were meant to be seen by the Greene's. This display will be at the Huntington Library until June 30, 2006.

The Thorsen library table (not the dining table) is the piece that is joining the Victoria & Albert Museum's International Arts & Crafts exhibit opening at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. If you did not travel to London to see this exhibit, and you will be near the Bay Area anytime before June 30, it is worth seeing this show. In addition to the Thorsen pieces, there are other G&G objects on display including the Blacker House breakfast room hanging light and a Blacker arm chair, along with hundreds of Arts & Crafts objects from around the world.

Also: it's a long way off, but the Huntington will also present The Architecture and Decorative Arts of Charles and Henry Greene from October 2008 to January 2009.

More Arts & Crafts in Asheville, Feb 16-19

Running concurrently with the Grove Park Inn's Asheville show and conference is a new Arts & Crafts antiques show in Asheville (thanks to Mark Golding's great Arts & Crafts movement newsletter for this!). From February 16 - 19, this new show will be held at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel, but it looks like it's mainly just an antique show - they are not competing with the Grove Park's extensive program of lectures and workshops.

Freudenheim Lectures at Maybeck's Masterpiece

BuildingwithnaturesmallIn light of Paul's recent review of Building With Nature: Inspiration for the Arts & Crafts Home, a reader let us know that Leslie Freudenheim will be speaking in Berkeley in just a few days. If you are interested in the evolution of the Bay Area's unique Arts & Crafts style, you will no doubt find this lecture particularly interesting. The lecture is being held in Bernard Maybeck's masterpiece First Church of Christ, Scientist on Dwight at Bowditch; whether you've read the book or not, and whether you agree with Freudenheim or not, it's worth going just for the venue (although I think it will be worth attending for the content, as well). From the BAHA notice:

In her lecture, Leslie Freudenheim will talk about her discoveries and examine how Joseph Worcester and his circle encouraged less materialism through architecture that complemented a simpler life in tune with nature, inspired by vernacular architecture in Yosemite and worldwide. Freudenheim will quote letters from Joseph Worcester, Daniel H. Burnham, Bernard Maybeck, William Morris, Frederick Law Olmsted, and John Muir, and illustrate her lecture with rare historic images.

lecture by and book signing with Leslie Freudenheim ($15 admission)
Friday, 10 February 2006 at 7.30 pm
First Church of Christ, Scientist
2619 Dwight at Bowditch, Berkeley

Hearst Castle Lecture at the Gamble House


from the press release regarding an upcoming lecture in the Sidney D. Gamble lecture series, "Passionate Minds: Morgan, Hearst and the Building of San Simeon":

The third lecture in a series of five will be held on February 21st 2006, with a presentation by Victoria Kastner, author and Interpretive Specialist at Hearst Castle. Kastner will explore the twenty-eight year egalitarian, architect-client San Simeon collaboration between Julia Morgan and William R. Hearst, one of the most fascinating in the history of American building, Victoria Kastner is the author of Hearst Castle: The Biography of a Country House, and is currently writing a history of San Simeon's landscape.

The lecture will be held at the Neighborhood Church in Pasadena, 2 Westmoreland Place, immediately adjacent to The Gamble House. A reception with the speaker follows at The Gamble House. Doors open at 7 pm and the lectures begin at 7:30.

Tickets may be purchased from The Gamble House by phone 626.793.3334 x52,
e-mail:, or on the website: General admission: $12; members and students: $10. Advance reservations are recommended; admission at the door is $18.

photo by Flickr user Heydrienne, used under the Creative Commons license

International Arts & Crafts Comes to San Francisco


C.F.A. Voysey, clock.
Mahogany, painted and gilded, brass and steel. 50.8 x 27.1 x 17.2 cm.
Britain , 1895-1896.
Mahogany case made by Frederick Coote; movement made by Camerer, Cuss and Co.
V&A: W.5-1998 © Victoria & Albert Museum/V&A Images

The de Young in San Francisco was my favorite museum growing up - true, it's right across from the Academy of Sciences, which has its own allure to a 12 year old boy. But the de Young, with its dark nooks and crannies, sarcophagi and urns, and menacing statuary, was especially attractive. I was especially entranced with the wonderful reflecting pool outside the front door, full of koi and turtles and other waterlife. Egrets and herons liked it, too - probably for the small feeder fish - and were frequently found there.

That de Young is gone, replaced with something larger and more earthquake-resistant, and the new rusty monolith in its place is very different but beautiful in its own asymmetrical way. So far I've only seen it from the outside, but I will soon have the opportunity to visit the interior as well, and not just for their excellent regular collection: the Victoria & Albert Museum's traveling International Arts & Crafts exhibit, moving slowly across the country, will be opening in less than two months. Most recently in Indianapolis, the show opens here in California on March 18 2006 and runs for three months, through June 18.

The show itself doesn't need much of an introduction or explanation; its long title, "International Arts and Crafts: William Morris to Frank Lloyd Wright" pretty much covers it: the whole shebang, the entire foundation of the movement, from the UK, the US and various international outposts of the movement (yes, even India). This is an absolute cannot-miss for anyone with even slight interest in the movement; if you are in Northern California, go to the show! We'll have a complete review after the opening, as well as more details and photos between now and the opening date. Hope to see you there!

Becoming Julia Morgan

Boutelle_201_castle_julia__elephant_sm The world premiere of Belinda Taylor's Becoming Julia Morgan, a dramatic production about California's most famous architect and the United States' most famous woman architect, opens January 14, 2006 at the California Stage in Sacramento. From the press release:

BECOMING JULIA MORGAN is a two-act play for four actors. The role of Julia will be portrayed by highly regarded Equity actress Janis Stevens, who recently performed in an acclaimed run in New York City of VIVIEN (about the life of actress Vivien Leigh). William Randolph Hearst will be played by Equity actor James C. Anderson, who recently returned for a tour with the Nevada Shakespeare Company. Grace Crow, a California Stage company member will play Marion Davies and Peter Playdon who recently starred in Carry the Tiger to the Mountain with InterAct Theater Company will play many of the famous people known by the reclusive architect brought to life in Ms. Taylor’s play.

The play chronicles the life and career of eminent California architect Julia Morgan. Julia Morgan was an artist of great originality and acknowledged integrity. She was an enigmatic woman with an elusive and fascinating personality who pursued her career goals at a time when architecture was exclusively a man’s profession. She worked 25 years with William Randolph Hearst, designing and building the magnificent Hearst Castle at San Simeon and built over 8oo public buildings and homes throughout California. However this true master architect battled ailments, and sexism in the early 1900s that could have sidelined her career. See how she overcame these barriers in this first full-length play on her life.

pictured: Julia Morgan with a baby elephant; my favorite photograph of her, and a scene not likely to be reproduced in the play.


Pre-Raphaelite Show on Tour


Margarette Frederick, Adjunct Curator of the Delaware Art Museum's Bancroft Collection, has written us an excellent introduction to their currently-touring Pre-Raphaelite collection. Please do try to see this show if you get a chance; it shines a light on the formation of the Arts & Crafts movement and its intersection with the premiere fine art movement of the era, and is chock-full of some really stunning paintings and a wide range of decorative items.

Waking Dreams: the Art of the Pre-Raphaelites from the Delaware Art Museum, an exhibition of pre-Raphaelite paintings, drawings and arts and crafts, is currently touring the United States. The exhibition, now on view at the McNay Art Museum in San Antoinio TX, will continue on to the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota FL, opening January 28, 2006 (closing April 2, 2006). The exhibition features 130 objects, forty of which are Arts and Crafts.

In 1848 a group of seven young British artists and writers gathered together in mutual support of new directions in contemporary art – in a move away from the established London art institutions of the day. The group consisted of the artists Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and James Collins; the sculptor Thomas Woolner; and the writers William Michael Rossetti (brother of Dante Gabriel) and Frederick George Stephens. Looking back to art created before the time of the Renaissance artist Raphael, their primary aim was to paint directly from nature in an honest manner that rejected the painterly brushwork and contrived compositions currently in vogue at the Royal Academy.  The bright jewel-like color and close attention to detail, typical of early Italian art, featured prominently in their work.

Late in 1856 William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, students together since 1853 at Oxford University, met Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The three men bonded in their enthusiasm for art and literature of the Middle Ages, in particular for Mallory’s “Morte d’Arthur.” At the end of 1856 Morris and Burne-Jones moved into Rossetti’s old rooms in Red Lion Square, London. Morris set about designing furnishings which were then ordered from a local cabinet maker. Two of the painted chairs from this suite are featured in this exhibition. The decoration is loosely based on the poetry of William Morris. The earliest chair, painted at the end of 1856 is taken from Morris’ poem Rapunzel and depicts Gwendolen in the witch tower with the Prince below kissing her long golden hair This chair includes Morris’ calligraphy, “Glorious Guendolen’s golden hair” referring to lines from his poem. The second chair, The Arming of a Knight, depicts a medieval woman bestowing her glove of “favour” on a knight. These chairs and the design of this furniture signal the beginning of Morris’ engagement with the decorative arts. Shortly thereafter (1861), Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Company was founded and the Arts and Crafts movement was born. The decorative arts included in this collection represent a broad survey of works produced in England in the 19th and early 20th century.

The history of the Delaware Art Museum’s pre-Raphaelite collection is a landmark in American 19th century art patronage. Samuel Bancroft, the Quaker, the Wilmington-based textile mill owner reminisced that in 1880 upon viewing his first Pre-Raphaelite he was “shocked with delight.” Bancroft’s decision to collect Pre-Raphaelite art was highly unusual, both within the local community and in the United States as a whole. Even today, his collection, bequeathed by his descendents to the Delaware Art Museum in 1935, is one of only a handful in the United States focusing on British Art of the 19th century.

Exhibition venues and dates for Waking Dreams following the Ringling Museum showing include: Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa OK (April 22 – July 2); Frick Art and Historical Center, Pittsburgh PA (July 29 – October 8); Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati OH (October 28 – January 7, 2007); Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis MO (2007 February 3 – April 15); San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego CA (May 5 – July 15, 2007). The collection will re-open in newly renovated permanent collection galleries at the Delaware Art Museum in the Fall of 2007.

For further information regarding the Bancroft collection and or the Waking Dreams tour please contact Margaretta S. Frederick, Adjunct Curator, Bancroft Collection, Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington DE; 302.351.8518; [email protected].

Thanks to the Delaware Art Museum for the image above. William Morris, 1834-1896 /  Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1828-1882: Glorious Gwendolen's Golden Hair, 1856 painted deal, leather, and nails Delaware Art Museum, Acquired through the Bequest of Doris Wright Anderson and through the F. V. du Pont Acquisition Fund, 1997 / 1997-13

Sun House

Ukiah, California's Sun House is a 1911 redwood Craftsman bungalow, open to tours Wednesday through Sunday, and managed by the same folks who caretake the nearby Grace Hudson Museum. The house has been maintained quite well, and is full of items from the very eclectic Hudson family collection, including many reminders of their very "bohemian" lifestyle. The bungalow, California Historical Landmark #296, is most certainly worth a visit if you are driving through Ukiah. Hudson's western art may seem just slightly treacly and dated now, with super-romanticized views of Native American life, but her collection of Pomo (and other) artifacts is right at home in this rough-hewn Craftsman masterpiece. Of course, it is ironic that her work is now seen by some folks as overly sentimental, when at the time she was criticized by much of the fine art establishment for spending so much time with and befriending many local Pomo tribespeople and painting a subject that her contemporary critics thought to be somehow "unworthy."

Treadway-Toomey Auction

Yet another great Treadway/Toomey Gallery auction. Unlike Sotheby's (who are having a great Greene & Greene auction in a few weeks, but I can't link to them since they now require registration just to browse lots), TT doesn't require you to jump through hoops to view what's coming up. A few highlights from their upcoming December 4 20th century art & design auction (or view the full catalog):

Ted Wells: Living Simple

GreenesecretarylbHarry Wakefield, the Editor of, alerts us to Ted Wells' Living Simple: an "audioblog" (each entry is actually a podcast) devoted to a wide range articles on both humanist and modernist architecture and design issues. In between the Richard Neutra and Bradd Pitt-on-architecture bits is an excellent three-part tour of the Greene & Greene in Long Beach exhibit (October 2005 through October 2006) at the Long Beach Museum of Art. I think this may be the first Arts & Crafts podcast!

note - from Ted's page, simply pick the "direct download" link at the bottom of each entry, or use that URL in iTunes or other audio player. The sound quality is quite good.