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This fall the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms is marking the 50th anniversary of Robert Judson Clark’s seminal 1972 Arts and Crafts Exhibition at Princeton University Art Museum in Princeton, New Jersey.
Please join us for three Members-Only Programs sponsored by Rago/Wright/LAMA Auctions
|The photo at left is a view of the 1972 exhibition at the Princeton University Art Museum. Often simply called the “Princeton show,” it was formally titled, “The Arts and Crafts Movement in America, 1876-1916.” The exhibition ran from October 21 to December 17, 1972.|
|Photo credit: courtesy Princeton University Art Museum.|
Why is this exhibition important to Arts and Crafts enthusiasts?
In 1972, the American Arts and Crafts movement reentered public consciousness after decades of neglect and changing tastes following the first World War. Robert Judson Clark’s 1972 exhibition “The Arts and Crafts Movement in America, 1876-1916,” and the accompanying catalog with contributions by David Hanks and Martin Eidelberg helped to elevate and define the canon of decorative arts from the period, transforming the field from niche interest of collectors and scholars into a market force that demonstrated the movement’s broad appeal. Guided by the Princeton show’s catalog, those drawn to the movement–whether philosophically or aesthetically–began to coalesce around the idea of a “revival.” Major figures of the movement–and Gustav Stickley in particular–went from forgotten footnotes of history to near household names driven by the nearly insatiable appetite for additional knowledge created in the wake of the Princeton show. Without the momentum generated by this exhibition, the recognition of Stickley as a principal figure of the movement, and the strong market forces that followed it is unimaginable that Craftsman Farms would have been saved from development. As we look back upon the influence of “The Arts and Crafts Movement in America, 1876-1916,” has had in the five decades since it opened, we do so cognizant that our very existence is inextricably linked to this pioneering work.
How are we celebrating?
With three online programs exclusively for Members in August, October, and December generously sponsored by Rago/Wright/LAMA Auctions.
Thursday, October 20, 2022 at 6:30 pm EDT; Zoom
1972: The Arts and Crafts in America Catalog and Exhibition Panel Discussion
with Martin Eidelberg, Emeritus Professor, Rutgers University
Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, the Anthony W. and Lulu C. Wang Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and
Jonathan Clancy, Director of Collections and Preservation
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the “Princeton show” – The Arts and Crafts in America, 1876-1916 – please join us for a panel discussion with Martin Eidelberg, a contributor to the catalog and exhibition, and Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, the Anthony W. and Lulu C. Wang Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who was a student at Princeton at the time, and Jonathan Clancy. The panel will reflect on the Princeton show’s importance and subsequent influence. Eidelberg’s chapter “Art Pottery,” remains amongst the field’s seminal texts and the objects and makers he discussed–from Chelsea Keramic to Rookwood to Grueby to Rhead and even a piece of Ohr–have continued to shape the way we discuss, understand, and appreciate American Art Pottery. Long-time colleagues and collaborators, Eidelberg and Frelinghuysen have continued to advance the field of American decorative arts through publications like The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany (2005), American Art Pottery: The Robert A. Ellison Collection (2018), and Gifts from the Fire: American Ceramics 1880-1950 from the Collection of Martin Eidelberg (2021).
Thursday, December 15, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. EDT; Zoom
“An Almost Infinite Variety of Material Production”: Furniture in the 1972 Princeton Exhibition
Presented by Jonathan Clancy, Director of Collections and Preservation
with Special Guest: Karl Kusserow, the John Wilmerding Curator of American Art at Princeton University Art Museum
Writing in May 1903 about Stickley’s own inaugural Arts and Crafts exhibition in Syracuse, Irene Sargent noted that Americans demanded “an almost infinite variety of material production,” a description well-suited to the furniture presented in Robert Judson Clark’s The Arts and Crafts in America, 1876-1916. From the Herter Brothers to the Stickley Brothers (both the firm and the people), from Richardson to Wright, from Jewett Johnson to Isaac Scott, the common theme of the exhibits–for Clark and Sargent–was an emphasis on craftsmanship and design rather than style. The Princeton show not only marked the beginnings of an established canon of Arts and Crafts furniture in America, it also cast the widest of nets and presented a vision of the movement that would be narrowed and refined in the following five decades.
At the beginning of the program, Jonathan Clancy will be joined by special guest Karl Kusserow, the John Wilmerding Curator of American Art at Princeton University Art Museum, for a brief discussion about the past, present, and future of this prestigious museum.