Roycroft History Course

Inspired by Elbert Hubbard’s own belief in stimulating his workers with lectures, the Roycroft is excited to bring back speakers to the Campus.

2019 Roycroft Campus Fall History Course

The Roycroft Campus will be offering a new Roycroft History Course this Fall. The semester’s theme will be “Collecting History.” We will explore what it means to be a historian, how the Roycroft Campus has been building it's collection, including stories from and about some of it's artifacts, and those rare treasures we'd like to some day have. A different guest speaker will be leading each class, which takes place Wednesday evenings starting October 23rd at 7:00pm in the Roycroft Power House, 39 South Grove in East Aurora, across the street from the Roycroft Inn. The sessions include:

Becoming Your Own Historian - Wednesday, October 23rd at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House

Every family, every home and every community has a story; but we all struggle to curate the massive number of papers, photographsand other items piled unorganized in boxes in our attics, closets and basements. East Aurora town historian, Robert Lowell Goller, will talk about how to collect, curate and preserve the history of your family, home and community, and how to document and preserve your own story for future generations.

Collecting History: The Origin and development of the Roycroft Campus Historic Collection - Wednesday, October 30th at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House

The Roycroft Campus' historic artifact and archival collection is still in its infancy by many standards, yet it is quickly expanding. With items being donated from Elbert Hubbard's descendants, families of former Roycrofters, avid collectors, and the occasional Roycroft novice, the Campus has amassed a collection of items that bring to life the story of the Roycroft Movement. Amizetta Haj, curator of the Museum, will talk about how the collection has developed over the past 10 years, what it takes to preserve, care for and exhibit priceless relics, and how these pieces from the past inform our understanding of Roycroft history and shape the Campus' future. 

The Lost Treasures of the Roycroft - Wednesday, November 6th at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House

As the Roycroft Campus collection continues to grow we often dream of those elusive or lost Roycroft treasures that may be out there, waiting to be found. Art History adjunct professor and Campus Program Director, Alan Nowicki will take you on an adventure and talk about some of those unique, one-of-a-kind or wishful Roycroft items; such as paintings, artifacts, clothing or audio recordings, that we hope to one day uncover.

Stories from The Philistine - Wednesday, November 13th at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House

The Philistine was a pocket-sized magazine published by the Roycroft from 1895 until 1915. It contained a mix of work from admired authors, turn of the century advertisements, and Elbert Hubbard’s own writings and philosophy. Buffalo State College Lecturer and Guest Services Ambassador at the Roycroft, Reid Dunlavey, will explore the pages of The Philistine, offering up some of the more unusual tall tales, advice and observations on the world.  

Location:

  •  The Fall 2019 history course will once again be held in the Power House of the Roycroft Campus, 39 South Grove in East Aurora, NY 14052 (unless when otherwise stated).

Admission:

  • Registration for the Fall 2019 Roycroft History Course is $25 for the general public and $10 for all RCC members. This includes all 4 presentations. Individual presentation tickets may be purchased for $10 at the door. You will be able to register online through our website or by calling the Roycroft Campus at 716.655.0261. RCC Members please call the Campus to receive your discount.
  • All proceeds from the history course goes to support the educational programming and restoration of the Roycroft Campus.

Past Lectures

Spring 2019 – Roycroft History Course:

  • Grace Meibohm: Alexis Jean Fournier - The Roycroft "Court" Painter - The owner of Meibohm Fine Arts presented on the painter who created a legacy at the Roycroft and around the community including artwork at the library, Elbert Hubbard Museum, and most famously the murals in the Roycroft Inn.
  • Alan Nowicki: Western New York: Epicenter of the American Arts & Crafts Movement - Examine how the Western New York region may be viewed as the national capital for design, production, and innovation in American Arts and Crafts and explore how people like Hubbard, Stickley, Grueby, Rohlfs, Wright, Newcomb and Rookwood all converged in Buffalo to launch this new form of decorative arts.
  • Mary Jo Graham: The Roycroft and Self-Sufficiency - The Arts and Crafts held ideals of self-sufficiency and nature awareness. From energy to furniture, food to lighting, see how the Roycroft community practiced self-reliance and conservation of resources, many of which make perfect sense in our modern era.
  • Mike Danial: Stickley: An Insider's Look - Stickley historian gave an interactive presentation which delved into a wide berth of topics and questions from design, construction, finishing, restoration, etc. It ranged from historical to contemporary, and everywhere in between. 

Fall 2018 – Roycroft History Course: "Women Artists and the Arts & Crafts"

  • Alan Nowicki: Frances Benjamin Johnston and Katharine Maltwood: The Hidden Artists of the Roycroft - What role did photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston and sculptor Katharine Maltwood have on the Roycroft. These two, somewhat unknown, women artists would leave a lasting imprint not only on the Campus, but in the United States and Canada.
  • Dr. James Spates: John Ruskin, Kate Greenway and Francesca Alexander  - Dr. Spates, Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, will tell of the friendship and support between Ruskin, who had previously heralded only male artists, and the art of Greenaway and Alexander.
  • Jackie Albarella: The Hotel Lafayette: Restoring Louise Bethune's Masterpiece - Louise Bethune was the first professional woman architect in the country and designer of The Hotel Lafayette. After years of neglect, the restoration of her architectural masterpiece was completed. Award winning photographer, Jackie Albarella, followed the restoration from the first day to the Grand Re-opening.
  • Kateri Ewing: Look Closer, Draw Better - Roycroft Campus artist in residence, will discuss her process, work and upcoming new book “Look Closer, Draw Better.” Her work isn’t so much about creating art as it is an avenue to convey how thoroughly in awe she is of the natural world around her.

September 2018 - Constance Payne: American artist gave two presentations New Work: Hounds, Horses and Masters of the Past and Creating the Roycroft Murals: The Four Seasons

Spring 2018 – Roycroft History Course: "Thinking Outside the Box"

  • Patrick Mahoney: Frank Lloyd Wright and a New Way of Living - Architect, Author and founding member of the Graycliff Conservancy discusses how Wright developed based upon what he imagined an American lifestyle should be, vastly different from the European standard.
  • Charles Facklam: Elbert Hubbard and a New Way of Working - We examine how Hubbard was a key to not only the Larkin Company's success but also the Frank Lloyd Wright story.
  • Linda Ulrich Hagner: Suffrage and the Roycroft Women - As the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote approaches we focus on the people, publications and art on suffrage at the Roycroft.
  • Chuck LaChiusa: Buffalo: An Ealry Modern Innovator - Creator of the award-winning Buffalo Architecture website explains the role of Buffalo as a leader in early modernism influencing other American cities and Western Europe.

Fall 2017 – Roycroft History Course: "Creating and Collecting Roycroft"

  • Ben Little: Herb Buffum and the Roycroft Cabinet Shop - Herb Buffum was the Superintendent of the Roycroft Cabinet Shop in the early 1900's. In first person, Ben/Herb brings the cabinet shop and the life of the Roycrofters alive with stories and facts about life on the campus.
  • Robert Rust: Collecting Roycroft - Exhibitions and Museums of Roycrofterie 1968-2017 - Author and A&C Historian, Robert Rust will focus on the earliest know museum exhibit from 1968 through the opening of two major museums with Roycroft in there collections, one in Florida and one in Colorado.
  • Alan Nowicki: Dard Hunter - The Roycroft Years - Dard Hunter's distinctive typography and elegant compositions would have a huge impact on not only the Roycroft, but Arts and Crafts style in general, becoming one of the most influential graphic artists of the early 20th century.
  • Douglas McFarland: The History of the Roycroft Copper Shop - A presentation on the evolution of metal work at the Roycroft, including the history of the Copper Shop and the men who were the leading contributors, Victor Toothacker, Karl Kipp and Walter Jennings.

Spring 2017 – Roycroft History Course: "Elbert Hubbard's Buffalo"

  • Alan Nowicki: Elbert Hubbard the Early Years - Campus Program Director takes a look at Elbert Hubbard's family tree, his school life, early interests, hobbies and family connections which may have influenced his creation of the Roycroft Campus.
  • Christine Campbell: How Elbert Hubbard Helped To Create The Larkin Idea - We examine Hubbard’s role in creating the Larkin Idea and how this idea improved the lives of not only the Larkin employees but also the lives of the citizens of Buffalo.
  • Brad Hahn: Elbert Hubbard's Buffalo - Then & Now - Elbert Hubbard arrived in Buffalo in 1881 at the height of the Gilded Age. Buffalo was the eighth largest city in America, and attracted the finest architects and designers which we explore.
  • Mark W. Warren: Theodore Roosevelt and Buffalo: A Book Connection Discovered - The story of a historic book bound for Theodore Roosevelt by a former Roycrofter, once lost to history, was recently rediscovered.

Fall 2016 – Roycroft History Course:

  • Robert Lowell Goller: A Tempest in a Village Teapot - Aurora Town Historian examines Elbert Hubbard's love-hate relationship with the Village of East Aurora with an emphasis on Elbert's "politics".
  • Mike Danial: Stickley and he Arts & Crafts Movement - Stickley historian will give a history of the Stickley brothers and their four respective factories, as well as the saving of the company by the current owners.
  • Elizabeth Garber: The Life of Miriam Elberta Hubbard - Elizabeth Garber, Miriam's granddaughter, will explore what Miriam's life was like as a young child, her youth at the Roycroft Campus, and what happened when she was suddenly orphaned at age 21. 
  • Robert Rust: The Other Artists on the Roycroft Campus 1895-1945 - Author and A&C Historian will uncover many of the lesser known artists that worked at the Roycroft including painters Samuel Warner, Sandor Landeau, Sadakichi Hartmann,Lillian Bonham, Merle James, Eleanor Douglass, Lawerence Mazzanovich, Robert Blair and metalsmith Rixford Jennings.
  • August 2016 – Clive Wilmer: Master of the Guild of St George and an Emeritus Fellow in English at Sidney Sussex College, who has spent over 40 years studying the contributions of John Ruskin and William Morris
  • Spring 2016 – Roycroft History Course: Four sessions led by Art history adjunct professor and Campus Program Director Alan Nowicki and Aurora Town Historian Robert Lowell Goller which included: Arts & Crafts 101, Who Were the Roycrofters, Elbert Hubbard and East Aurora, and The Roycroft Press.
  • November 2015 – Francis Kowsky: Author presented on Frederick Law Olmsted and his creation of the Buffalo Park system. 
  • September 2015 – Female Artist Panel: A panel of regional female artists featuring Kateri Ewing, Alix Martin, Grace Meibohm and Sharon Zaremski discussed their art, their process and their role in the art world.
  • July 2015 – Timothy P. Schmalz: International large-scale sculptor who's currently working on a piece for the Roycroft Campus.
  • May 2015 – Robert Lowell Goller: Aurora Town Historian and Aurora Historical Society Director Robert Lowell Goller will discussed the impact of the Lusitania tragedy on the Roycroft movement and the East Aurora community.
  • March 2015 – Grant Hamilton: Owner and publisher of multiple newspapers and family connections to the Roycroft Campus.
  • November 2014 – Judith Miller: One of the world’s leading experts in the field of antiques, international best-selling author, and creator of The Antiques Roadshow.
  • October 2014 – RALA Master Artisan Panel: Roycroft Renaissance Master Artisans from a variety of media discuss their art and the future of the Arts and Crafts movement.
  • September 2014 - Charlie Clough: International artist and co-founders of Hallwalls Center for Contemporary Art in Buffalo.
  • August 2014 - Constance Payne: American artist and expert on the life of Rosa Bonheur returns to the Campus to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 4 Seasons murals she painted in the Roycroft Inn.
  • May 2014 - Kitty Turgeon: one of the Founders of the Roycrofters At-Large Association and Executive Director of the Foundation for the Study of the Arts & Crafts.

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