"'This Isn't Hull House': Life at Arts and Crafts Communities in the Long-Twentieth Century"
A lecture by Dr. Thomas A. Guiler, Assistant Professor of History and Public Humanities at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library.
Sunday, April 15, 2018, at 4pm at the Buzz Ware Village Center in Arden, Delaware.
In response to the trauma of industrialization and urbanization in the late-nineteenth century, the Arts and Crafts Movement took America by storm. Art exhibits, factories, workshops, and societies dedicated to handicraft, worker dignity, and the promulgation of beautiful art to the masses sprouted from California to Boston. Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead, Elbert Hubbard, William Lightfoot Price, and Frank Stephens were so enamored with the movement that they decided to build entirely new worlds—intentional communities—dedicated to pursuing those ideals. Arden, Rose Valley, Roycroft, and Byrdcliffe not only produced beautiful handcrafted furniture, ceramics, textiles, and books, but also created a vibrant community-life, involving lectures, costume parties, classes, theater, and even baseball, where big personalities fell in love, clashed bitterly, and strove to form an alternative way to live in an industrial society. This presentation will examine the social and cultural lives of these communities, the individuals who inhabited them, and, in some cases, how these communities interacted with each other. But Arden, Rose Valley, Byrdcliffe, and Roycroft are not time capsules frozen in the early-twentieth century; they continue to be lively places for art, craft, and community. As such, this lecture will examine the long history of these communities to demonstrate how that history and spirit lives on in the present.
This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Donations to the BWVC are gratefully accepted.