Inspired by Elbert Hubbard’s own belief in stimulating his workers with lectures, the Roycroft is excited to bring back speakers to the Campus.
The Roycroft Campus is once again offering a new History Course this Fall, all done virtually. The course will look at the “Masters of the Arts & Crafts,” John Ruskin, William Morris, Gustav Stickley and Elbert Hubbard II. Think of it as the Mount Rushmore of the movement. Through these four individuals, you will have a better understanding of the Arts and Crafts, and its key players. A different guest speaker will lead each class, which takes place on Zoom, Saturdays at 11:00am eastern standard time in November.
The Roycroft History Course is $20 for each individual presentation, or register for the whole course and save $10, all four classes for $70. Register Now.
During the nineteenth century, John Ruskin was one of the most famous men in Europe, America, and the United Kingdom. His books stressing the importance of great art and architecture in any society desirous of seeing itself as civilized were read by almost all educated people and his prose style was always applauded as one of the most eloquent ever rendered in English. When he gave public lectures, they frequently had to repeat them twice, the turn-out was so large. When he died in 1900, the disappearance of his genius was lamented all over the world. And yet, today, few have heard of Ruskin, despite the fact that, as this talk will emphasize, his work on aesthetic matters and social criticism (he was one of the first to call his industrial order to task for wantonly destroying the beauties of nature and impoverishing millions for the sake of becoming rich), remains remarkably relevant to our own era. This talk will serve as a general introduction to Ruskin, his work, and times. It will explain why he has fallen off the cultural radar and propose that, should we wish to find suggestions of enduring merit for how we might extricate ourselves from the painful world-wide predicament in which we moderns find ourselves in, we would be well-advised to begin a serious reassessment of Ruskin.
David Latham will give an illustrated introduction to William Morris, the Olympian genius who inspired Elbert Hubbard to found the Roycroft Arts and Crafts community and was considered by Hubbard as a “prophet of God.” A jack of all trades and master of them all, Morris stands remarkably at the forefront of six historic movements in Western culture: the Pre-Raphaelite movement in the 1850s, the Arts and Crafts movement in the 1860s, the architectural preservation movement in the 1870s, the Socialist movement in the 1880s, the prose romance movement in the 1890s, and the private press movement in the 1890s. Each of these six historic movements will be illustrated by Morris’s Pre-Raphaelite poetry, by his furniture, wallpapers, tapestries, and stained glass, by his political lectures for revolutionizing the nature of work, by his visionary prose which Yeats praised as the most beautiful language ever written, and by the font, watermarked paper, and illustrations he designed for the most beautiful books ever printed.
Gustav began his furniture career in 1876. How did he get to where he is today? I will give a brief background of Gustav Stickley and the progression of his life with furniture. I’ll do this through who he worked with and what he was producing. I will wrap up the presentation with an explanation of what’s going on with his Columbus Avenue home in Syracuse, NY.
Elbert Hubbard II, known as Bert, was the first child of Elbert and Bertha Hubbard. He would grow up watching his father transform the Roycroft from a single printing press to an Arts & Crafts community of hundreds of artisans. Bert worked in various positions around the Roycroft, but never dreamed he’d find himself in charge in May 1915, after his father was killed aboard the Lusitania. Bert would go on to run the Shops longer than his father, becoming a leader not only at the Roycroft, but throughout East Aurora. Mr. Rust will lead us on the journey of Bert Hubbard, how he saved the Roycroft, cementing its legacy in the Arts & Crafts world, and his life after the Campus closed.