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

2022 Roycroft Campus Fall History Course

Fall 22 History Course

The Roycroft Campus is offering its annual Fall History Course. All four presentations will be offered virtually through Zoom. This semester’s theme is “People and Places.” Our first presentation is in conjunction with the current special exhibit in the Roycroft Campus Museum, featuring the contributions that W. W. Denslow made during the time that he and Elbert Hubbard became friends and collaborators. Next, we examine how John Ruskin’s ideas lead from Arts & Crafts to today’s maker spaces. The Aurora Town Historian will explore the important role the Roycroft (and lesser-known locals) played in the suffrage movement. Finally, Roycroft Campus Program Director, will be offering a short history of Roycroft Printing Shop. Virtual classes take place on Zoom, Saturday mornings at 11:00am EST.

The Roycroft History Course is $50 for the general public and includes all 4 presentations.

Click here to REGISTER for the whole course

Roycroft Members price is $40. Members please call the Roycroft Campus to register for this program, or call to become a Member at 716-655-0261.

Individual presentations are available for $20 per person.

All proceeds go to support the educational programming and restoration of the Roycroft Campus.

The Roycroft History Course is made possible with funding from Erie County, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

Session 1: Denslow and Hubbard: A Collaboration of Immortals

Saturday, October 29th at 11am EST – VIRTUAL

To register for this presentation CLICK HERE

William Wallace Denslow caught the attention of Elbert Hubbard in 1896, after Denslow requested a Roycroft book by way of an illustrated envelope. A few months later, Hubbard would formally ask Denslow to contribute his work to the company. Denslow’s freelance caricatures, designs, and trademark seahorse signature would become prominent features of Roycroft publications, especially The Philistine. Denslow would go on to greater fame outside the Roycroft illustrating such classic work as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900, Mother Goose in 1901, and The Night Before Christmas, in 1902. He would continue to contribute artwork to the Roycroft, even after his Wizard of Oz success. His last cover of The Philistine appears in 1915, just months before his death. This talk is in conjunction with the current special exhibit in the Roycroft Campus Museum, featuring the variety and volume of contributions that W. W. Denslow made during the time that he and Elbert Hubbard became friends and collaborators. The Roycroft Campus is pleased to partner with the International Wizard of Oz Club for this special exhibit and presentation.

Fall 22 History - Session 1

Bill Thompson

Bill ThompsonBill Thompson is a software engineer in Rochester, NY, who spends most of his non-professional cycles working on his collection of Oz, L. Frank Baum, W. W. Denslow and Roycroft. In branching out from his core Denslow focus, Bill has amassed a large representative assortment of Roycroft publications and their many variants, at least for titles whose contents have a dash or more of Denslow-created content. Bill is a long-time member of the International Wizard of Oz Club, serving on their Board of Directors and as the Club Auctioneer at their summertime Oz Conventions. He is also the principle author of Bibliographia Baumiana: A Comprehensive Bibliography of the non-Oz Books of L. Frank Baum

Session 2: Craft, Repurposing, and Maker Culture: Ruskin in Practice in Toronto

Saturday, November 5th at 11am EST – VIRTUAL

To register for this presentation CLICK HERE

In this talk, Gagné will explore the influence of Ruskin in the regeneration of craft and maker culture in Toronto. The emphasis on repurposing, upcycling, and more availability of 3D printing, suggests a need to pause and reflect on the connection to the makers/manufacturers who use creative means to develop and design their work. From foodstuffs like beer and cider, to household goods (such as tables and live-edge serving trays) repurposing highlights the hands that both make the materials now, but also the hands which touched the materials previously. These many hands are also seen at a larger scale in Toronto architecture, in facadism, and at Guild Park and Gardens. Guild Park was the home of the Guild of All Arts from 1932-1978 and is now home to the remnants of 50 Toronto heritage buildings where architectural ornamentation is repurposed in line with the motto of the Guildwood suburb “let us mingle the beautiful with the useful.” Yet, even this final resting place for an architectural past is being redesigned and repurposed. In her talk Gagné, will explore the connections of repurposing, maker culture, 3D printing, and Ruskin to open a conversation on the new future of design and the ghostly hands that remain.

Fall 22 History - Session 2

Ann Gagné

Ann GagneAnn Gagné is an Educational Developer (Universal Design for Learning & Accessible Pedagogies ) at the University of Toronto Mississauga and an adjunct Communications instructor at George Brown College. Her work and research focusses on supporting accessible pedagogy, especially through reference to the sensory. Her book, Embodying the Tactile in Victorian Literature: Touching Bodies/ Bodies Touching was published by Lexington Press in 2021. Other Ruskin focused publications include “Architecture and Perception: The Science of Art in Ruskin” (2019) in Victorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature and “Recovering a Ruskinian Tactile Ethics of Architecture” (2019) in Modern Horizons Journal. She has presented on Ruskin and tactility at international conferences such as NAVSA, NeMLA, VSAWC, at Birkbeck, University of London and for the Ruskin Art Club. She is Companion of the Guild of St. George and a board member of the Ruskin Society of North America.

Session 3: Battle Over the Ballot

Saturday, November 12th at 11am EST – VIRTUAL

To register for this presentation CLICK HERE

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and Election Day, this program explores the women’s suffrage efforts in the Town of Aurora and Village of East Aurora in the decades leading up to November 1917, when women were granted the right to vote in New York State. This presentation will go beyond the important role the Roycroft played in the movement and explore lesser-known local suffrage workers; the challenge to convince East Aurorans – both male and female – that women were qualified to vote; and the local efforts after 1917 to encourage women to cast their ballots and run for office.

Fall 22 History - Session 3

Robert Lowell Goller

Robert Lowell Goller

Robert Lowell Goller was appointed the eighth Aurora Town Historian on January 8, 2007. A former journalist and editor of the East Aurora Advertiser. In 2008, Robert was awarded the Mary and Gill Stott Award at Roycroft for achievement in writing, music and history, and in 2011 he was among Business First’s “40 Under 40” rising community and business leaders in Western New York. The County Legislature named him Erie County Citizen of the Month for November 2019. Robert presents a variety of history programs and historical exhibits, including annual displays in the Historical Building at the Erie County Fair. He writes a monthly newspaper column on the history of East Aurora; has written two local history books, Aurora Revisited (2011) and Legendary Locals of East Aurora (2014); and is currently conducting research for additional publications.

Session 4: A Short History of the Roycroft Press

Saturday, November 19th at 11am EST – VIRTUAL

To register for this presentation CLICK HERE

Although the Roycrofters were known for a variety of items such as furniture and copper work, Elbert Hubbard’s main interest was always printing. This presentation will give an short history of the Roycroft Press, the origin of the name and mark, the types of material printed at the shop, and focus on the four periods of books produced at the Roycroft including examples of these publications.

Fall 22 History - Session 4

Alan Nowicki

Alan Nowicki

Alan Nowicki

Mr. Nowicki came to the Roycroft Campus in 2010 by way of PBS. He is responsible for all classes and programming on the Campus, including tours, instructors and workshops, the Roycroft art shows, the Roycroft Film Society and Book Club, and special events throughout the year. He also helps maintain the Campus website, as well as the training and handling of volunteers and docents. He has 15 years of experience working in educational programming, professional development and community outreach.

Mr. Nowicki has also been a teacher for more than 20 years, having taught in every grade level from Pre-K through college, specializing in art and history. He has given multiple talks around the region on Elbert Hubbard and the history of the Roycroft Campus.