from the Society of
Arts & Crafts, Boston
Exhibition and Sale
March 21-April 25, 1997
144 Lincoln Street
Boston, MA 02111
May 9-June 15, 1997
Craftsman Farms Foundation
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| Arthur Wesley Dow
town of Ipswich, Mass. where Dow was born, and the surrounding salt
marshes were a constant inspiration for his work. Even after traveling
the world in 1903 and 1904, and the American southwest with Alvin
Coburn, he returned to the familiar landscape. However, his approach
was anything but familiar. Early in his career, he put aside his
Western approach to art, and embraced the philosophy of Asian art
learned at the Academie Julien in Paris. He was influenced by his
exposure to Japanese block prints as assistant curator of Japanese
Art at the MFA of Boston, under Ernest Fenollosa. He published several
educational references, the most important of which was his handbook,
Composition, published in 1899, which went through many reprints.
In 1897 and 1899, he showed in special exhibitions sponsored by
the Boston Society of Arts & Crafts. Dow taught at Teachers
College, Columbia University, and during the summers he taught at
his own Ipswich Summer School which he ran from 1891 to 1907. The
school was attended by artists of varying disciplines from all around
the country including several from Newcomb College. His work and
equally his teachings make him one of the foremost artists and educators
responsible for shaping twentieth century modern art.
William Henry Grueby
William Grueby was born in 1867 in Boston. He
was a potter and businessman and showed at both the 1899 and 1907
Society exhibitions. In 1894, Grueby-Faience Company was formed,
and by 1909, it was incorporated
as the Grueby Faience and Tile Company. Two of this country's leading
arbiters of turn of the century style chose to incorporate Grueby
into their work. Tiffany Studios used Grueby Pottery for lamp bases,
and Gustav Stickley used Grueby Tiles in his stands and tables,
also accessorizing his catalog with vases and lamps. Grueby participated
in numerous exhibitions, highlights include: The Architectural League
of New York, 1895; the Exposition Universalle, Paris, 1900 (where
he was awarded two gold medals and one silver medal); the Buffalo
Pan American Exhibition, 1901, where he shared a booth with Gustav
Stickley; and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at the St. Louis
Grand Prix, 1904. By 1910, he had a final exhibition and sale in
South Boston. The C. Pardee Works of Perth Amboy, NJ purchased the
Grueby Faience and Tile Company in 1919. Grueby vases were designed
by only a few artists and all were handthrown. Decoration was executed
by modelers hired from Boston's art schools while tiles were pressed
into molds. Although many glaze colors were used, most famous was
the matte green which won numerous awards, inspiring a rage for
green glazed pottery, and fostering many imitators.
In 1904, the Marblehead Pottery was founded
by Dr. Herbert Hall as part of a handicraft therapy program for
convelescing patients at his hospital. Soon after it began, the
pottery was separated from the Sanitarium and Arthur Baggs was made
its director. He purchased the pottery from Hall in 1915. Baggs
had previously worked under Charles Binns at the NY School of Clayworking
and Ceramics at Alfred. He taught pottery at various institutions
throughout his career including the Ethical Cultural School and
the School of Design and Liberal Arts in New York and the Cleveland
School of Art. From 1925-28, he worked at the Cowan Pottery in Cleveland.
To honor and recognize his work he was awarded the Charles F. Binns
Medal in 1928 in New York. He exhibited in 1933 at the Robineau
memorial Ceramic Exhibition in Syracuse and the 1937 Paris Exhibition.
When the Marblehead Pottery was closed in 1936, he continued his
teaching at Ohio State.
The pottery produced primarily hand thrown vases
in simple shapes, however tiles, pitchers, bookends, hanging pots
and wall pockets were also made. Marblehead cider sets were sold
through Gustav Stickley's catalog and showroom. The finish was most
often matte and in muted colors, but some glossy, textured, and
mottled color glazes were also used. A small percentage of the vases
were hand decorated with conventionalized designs of plants, marine
forms, animals, landscapes and geometric shapes. These designs were
incised or surface painted in two or more colors.
Newcomb Pottery was founded in 1895 and continued
in operation until 1940. The pottery was part of the Sophie Newcomb
Memorial College in Louisiana, which was founded as a woman's college,
and part of Tulane University. Ellsworth Woodward and his brother
William were trained at Rhode Island School of Design and joined
the Tulane faculty in 1884. The two brothers, together with another
New Englander, Gertrude Roberts, were the sole instructors of the
newly formed art department at Newcomb College.
Most of the decorators of Newcomb Pottery were graduate students
and professionals who had been through the art program, some of
whom had studied with Arthur Wesley Dow. Men were consistently employed
to throw the pots, a role apparently not deemed appropriate for
women, despite the intention of training women for industrial art.
Early work of Newcomb is characterized by simple bold designs
and firm drawing as espoused by Dow in Composition, executed in
cool colors under a high glaze.
After 1911, matte and semi-matte glazes developed
by Paul Cox were almost exclusively used. Decorations inspired by
the southern landscape, flora & fauna, were relief carved, into
the damp clay. Newcomb pottery continually received medals for excellence
in design and execution at many exhibitions including; the Paris
Exposition, 1900; Buffalo Pan American Exposition, 1901; St. Louis,
1904; Portland, 1905; and San Francisco in 1915. Newcomb was regularly
sold at the Society's retail shop and was exhibited in the 1907
Paul Revere Pottery
Paul Revere Pottery was formed in Boston in 1907, by Edith Guerrier,
the librarian for the Public Library's Reading Rooms in the North
End, and Edith Brown, a children's book illustrator along with Mrs.
James Storrow, who provided financial support. As an activity for
the members of a club known as the Saturday Evening Girls they organized
the pottery to provide training and employment for the girls of
the club. Early on, an English pottery chemist, formerly with the
Merrimac Pottery, was engaged to teach the girls glaze formulas
and firing in the kiln. The group expanded rapidly and in 1915.
Mrs. Storrow financed a pottery designed by Edith Brown and built
in Brighton, MA. Around 1925, the markings of the pottery were changed
from S.E.G. to P.R.P. or the Paul Revere Seal. The product consisted
mainly of cereal sets and other utilitarian forms plainly glazed
in a variety of colors or decorated with juvenile motifs of chicks,
rabbits, ducks, landscapes and flowers always designed by Edith
Brown. Upon special order, names, initials or mottos could be incorporated
into the designs. Plain and decorated vases were also offered. It
was a successful social and artistic experiment but not a profitable
business, as thousands of dollars were required to subsidize it.
In 1932, Edith Brown died and the pottery was closed in 1942.
After many years as a soap salesman, Elbert Hubbard
of East Aurora, NY quit his job and boarded a ship for Europe. Hubbard
was inspired, like so many others during this time, by the words
and philosophies of William Morris and began writing. In 1895, the
ostentatious self-promoter opened the Roycroft Shops and began a
periodical called The Philistine.
small publishing shop quickly grew into an artistic hotbed for crafts,
including furniture, metal, textiles and leather. The craftsmanship
was excellent and exemplified the philosophies of the rapidly growing
American Arts & Crafts movement. Artists such as Karl Kipp and
Dard Hunter were two designers at Roycroft influenced by what was
going on in Europe at the time and brought an international element
to their work. The workforce at Roycroft grew from approximately
50 to over 500. A completely self-sufficient commune, the Roycrofters
grew their own food, operated their own bank, and even their own
Visitors came from all around the world came to participate
in the lectures, exhibitions and musical events held at Roycroft.
The achievements of this community came the closest to the ideals
of the English Arts and Crafts Movement. On May
7 1915, Elbert Hubbard and his wife Alice were lost in the sinking
of the Lusitania. The years to follow would prove difficult for
the remaining Roycrofters and ultimately the absence of Hubbard
with a depressed economy resulted in the closing of the Shops.
Stickley was born in 1857 in Wisconsin. At an early age, Gustav's
family moved to Pennsylvania where the as a teenager he worked in
his uncle's chair factory. It was here that his appreciation for
the craft of furniture making began. Years later, a trip to England
exposed Gustav to the ideals and philosophies of the Arts and Crafts
movement. Upon returning to the States, he opened the United Crafts
shop in Eastwood, New York and his furniture debut at the Grand
Rapids Furniture Fair in 1900 met with great accolades. In 1904,
United Crafts became Craftsman Workshops.
In addition to designing and manufacturing mission
oak furniture, Gustav Stickley wrote and published The Craftsman,
a monthly journal dedicated to spreading the word of the Arts and
Crafts lifestyle in America. Principles such as simplicity, functionality
and honesty touted in The Craftsman are evident in the details
of Stickley's furniture.
In 1913, Gustav moved the Craftsman Workshops
to New York City. Due to an unwavering dedication to the ideals
of the movement, as well as a change in the styles demanded by the
public, the company closed shortly after the move. Two of his younger
brothers, Leopold and John George Stickley, were among his leading
competition. The L & JG Stickley Company were willing to adapt
their designs to the changing needs of the public and took over
the Craftsman Workshops in 1918. Gustav worked with L & JG for
about six months before leaving the partnership indefinitely.
& JG Stickley
Leopold Stickley (1869-1957)
John George Stickley (1871-1921)
Leopold Stickley, born in 1869, was the older brother
of John George Stickley, born in 1871. Closely following the path
of their eldest brother, Gustav, L & JG became furniture manufacturers
in 1902. Soon after their incorporation in 1904, the name Onondaga
Shops was introduced, the namesake of the county in which they lived
in Central New York State. The Grand Rapids trade show was the stage
for their debut in 1905 and in 1906 the L & JG Stickley Handcraft
label was introduced. Although the early work of L & JG appears
to be highly inspired by Gustav's designs, some pieces were improved
upon and even surpass the craftsmanship of their brother.
For example, L & JG invented a method by which all four sides
of a table leg utilize quarter-sawn oak, proving that the quality
and creativity was comparable to their older brother.
In 1912, the label "The Work of L & JG Stickley"
was introduced to draw a clear distinction between themselves and
their older brother. L & JG bought the failing Craftsman Workshops
in 1918 and Gustav worked with them for a short period under the
conjoined Handcraft and Craftsman decal. The
demands of the public were changing and L & JG Stickley moved
with them by introducing new lines of furniture, a move that sustained
the longevity of their company. Their last Arts and Crafts catalog
was printed in 1922 and production was ceased by 1923.