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.

2018 Roycroft Campus Fall History Course

The Roycroft Campus will be offering a new Roycroft History Course this Fall. The semester’s theme will be “Women Artists and the Arts & Crafts.” We will explore a variety of historical and contemporary female artists who have had a lasting impact on the Roycroft and the Arts World. A different guest speaker will be leading each class, which takes place Thursday evenings starting October 4th at 7:00pm in the Roycroft Power House, 39 South Grove in East Aurora, across the street from the Roycroft Inn.

Frances Benjamin Johnston and Katharine Maltwood: The Hidden Artists of the Roycroft - Thursday, October 4th at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House

Art History adjunct professor and Campus Program Director, Alan Nowicki will be discussing the role photographer, Frances Benjamin Johnston and sculptor, Katharine Maltwood would have on the Roycroft. These two, somewhat unknown, women artists would leave a lasting imprint on not only the Campus, but both the United States and Canada.

John Ruskin, Kate Greenway and Francesca Alexander - Thursday, October 11th at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House

In the last decade of his working life (the 1880s) John Ruskin took a deep interest in the work of two women artists. In England, Kate Greenaway—famous for her delightful illustrations of children—and in Italy, Francesca Alexander—whom he would make famous by publishing her lovely book, Tuscan Songs. As he worked with them, they developed close friendships. In his writings and lectures, Ruskin praised the importance of their work and argued that both should be viewed as major artists. Dr. James Spates, Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, will tell the story not only of their friendships but explain why Ruskin, who had previously heralded only male artists (Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites are examples), thought so highly of Greenaway and Alexander and their art.

The Hotel Lafayette: Restoring Louise Bethune's Masterpiece - Thursday, November 1st at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House

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. She captured the restoration in images and stories from the many highly skilled craftspeople, artists and contractors who brought Bethune’s opus back to life.

Look Closer, Draw Better - Thursday, November 8th at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House

Kateri Ewing, 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 or making a statement as it is an avenue to convey how thoroughly in awe she is of the natural world around her. Come and be inspired as she imagines ways to share the beauty and uniqueness of her winged and botanical subjects.


  • This course will be held on the Roycroft Campus in the Roycroft Power House, 39 South Grove in East Aurora, NY 14052 (unless when otherwise stated).


  • Registration for the Fall 2017 Roycroft History Course is $25 for the general public and $10 to all RCC members. To purchase individual tickets please click here. You will be able to register online through our website or by calling the Roycroft Campus at 716.655.0261.
  • All proceeds support

Past Lectures

    • 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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