The Arts & Crafts movement has a dedicated museum in St. Petersburg, Florida

Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement
© Joe Brennan

The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement (MAACM) – the very first institution dedicated exclusively to the international trend in art and design that emerged at the end of the 19th century as a reaction against the ethics of the industrial revolution of production of mass – opens in St. Petersburg, Fla. on September 7. The museum, founded by Florida-based pharmaceutical businessman Rudy Ciccarello, will house his private collection and the funds of the Two Red Roses Foundation, a non-profit educational organization founded in 2004 by Ciccarello.

“This museum will be the epicenter for the study of the American arts and crafts movement,” Ciccarello said in a statement. “Our mission is to preserve and share these beautiful works of art with the public and to teach future generations to appreciate honest craftsmanship and design.”

With more than 40,000 m². ft of gallery space, the new museum will be housed in a five-story, 137,000sq. ft structure designed by Tampa-based architect Alberto Alfonso. The institution will also have an outdoor garden, an educational studio, a graphic studio, a research library, a theater, an event space, a café and a restaurant. . Ciccarello first purchased the 3.2-acre plot of land for the museum in 2014, but construction on the building was delayed due to a last minute extension, then production delays caused by the pandemic.

Frederick Hurten Rhead, glazed earthenware panel for trumeau (1910), made by the Academy of Fine Arts, University of the People, University City, MO
TRRF Collection

The building “is inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement in its details and the customization of materials and carpentry,” says Alfonso. “[It] will serve the collection in its presentation of precious objects in a modern, functional and didactic way. The spaces will embrace natural light and respond to the different scales of the objects they contain.

The collection includes more than 2,000 objects related to the American arts and crafts movement, ranging from furniture, pottery, ceramic tiles and architectural earthenware, metalwork, woodcuts, fine art. arts, lighting, textiles and lead glass. Artists, craftspeople and companies represented include Gustav Stickley, Charles Rohlfs, The Byrdcliffe Colony, Tiffany Studios, Rookwood Pottery, Newcomb Pottery and Arthur Wesley Dow. Around 800 works will be on display at a time, and the museum will also host temporary exhibitions.

The first exhibits, which will open in early September, will be Love, Labor, and Art: The Roycroft Enterprise, a glimpse of over 75 objects built by a craft school founded in upstate New York in the 1890s. by Elbert Hubbard, and Lenses Embracing the Beautiful: Pictorial Photographs from the Two Red Roses Foundation, an overview of photographers including Alfred Stieglitz and Edward S. Curtis.

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