History Matters Series Continues

Historic Saranac Lake hosts a talk by Bruce Austin on Thursday…  It’s titled “The American Arts and Crafts Movement in New York State” The talk is part of the Historic Saranac Lake’s History Matters Series and is hosted in collaboration with the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society.

The American Arts and Crafts Movement, or “mission,” gained popularity as a decorative style beginning in 1900, and by 1920 had gone out of style. Arts and Crafts, however, was more than simply a decorative style: it was also a philosophy, an ethos, a way of living, and significantly, an enormous business. Artists and manufacturers of objects in the Arts and Crafts style – furniture, ceramics, metal, lighting, textiles, jewelry - found like-minded creators in a few U.S. locations. Among the most significant centers of creativity for Arts and Crafts was New York State. The presentation, accompanied by slides, affords listeners an opportunity to gain awareness and knowledge of the Movement, its philosophy and creative product, and focuses in on the unique contributions of Arts and Crafts creators from New York State.

The talk begins Thursday at 7pm in the John Black Room at the Laboratory Museum on Church Street in Saranac Lake..

Gustav and L & JG Stickley in Syracuse, Roycroft in East Aurora, Charles Stickley in Binghamton, Frederick Walrath and Harvey Ellis in Buffalo, the Byrdcliffe colony in Woodstock – all produced superb examples (as well as a few “clinkers”) of Arts and Crafts objects, all exemplified the Movement’s philosophy, and at least a few proved to be successful in business. This presentation, accompanied by slides, affords listeners an opportunity to gain awareness and knowledge of the Movement, its philosophy and creative product, and focuses in on the unique contributions of Arts and Crafts creators from New YorkState.

Dr. Bruce A. Austin is Chairman and Professor of Communication at Rochester Institute of Technology. He served as organizer and curator for the exhibition “The Arts and Crafts Movement in Western New York: 1900 – 1920.” He writes often and for a variety of publications about the Arts and Crafts Movement. The “History Matters” seminars meet four Thursdays in May at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free of charge. Light refreshments will be served. Please call Historic Saranac Lake at 518-891-4606 for more information.

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