The American Arts & Crafts Home, 1900-1915: Selections from the Two Red Roses Foundation Collection at the Leepa-Rattner Museum Of Art

January 22 - April 16, 2006

Gustav Stickley's bow-arm Morris Chair

At the turn of the 20th century a spirit of reform, now known as the Arts & Crafts movement, transformed American furniture, ceramics, metalwork, textile and other domestic furnishings. The new philosophy originated in England under the leadership of designer, critic and poet William Morris. He rejected the poor design and shoddy construction of manufactured goods that had swamped the retail market and adopted a sophisticated simplicity inspired by nature, high-quality craftsmanship and straightforward materials. (right: Dozens of manufacturers have produced their own versions of the Morris chair. This image is of an early example of Gustav Stickley's bow-arm Morris chair. Craftsman Workshops, Eastwood, N.Y., Morris Chair, Model #2340, ca. 1901, oak, with original foundation, 38 x 29 x 33 inches)

This exhibition features furniture, metalwork and pottery of the American Arts & Crafts movement from 1900 to 1915. Florida businessman Rudy Ciccarello has endowed the foundation with gifts from his personal collection, one of the largest in the United States. The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art is proud to present the Foundation's debut exhibition. Several masterworks presented in the exhibition reflect the interest in the American domestic environment characteristic of the Arts & Crafts movement. A classic, early Gustav Stickley armchair, three exceptional carved and painted Byrdcliffe colony cabinets and a revolving desk designed by Charles Rohlfs are among the nearly one hundred pieces on display.

Pottery and tiles by the leading ceramicists of their day, Grueby, Rookwood, Newcomb, Overbeck, Saturday Evening Girls and Teco; metalwork by the renowned Californian Dirk van Erp; leaded glass window by Stickley and Frank Lloyd Wright; and paintings and woodblock prints by Arthur Wesley Dow and others will reflect a parallel modernist aesthetic promoted by American artists and educators.

Charged with fostering public recognition and appreciation of the high quality craftsmanship and design philosophy of period, The Two Red Roses Foundation will continue to expand the collection, even as it turns its attention to an active exhibition and education program.

A catalog for the exhibition is available in the Museum Store. An essay by guest curator, Susan J. Montgomery is included. Susan holds a B.A. in art history from Smith College and a Ph.D. in American & New England Studies from Boston University and is an independent scholar of the decorative arts.

Talk and Tea: Perspectives on the American Arts & Crafts Home

A vase by George P. Kendrick

On Saturday, March 11, 1 - 4 p.m., there will be a special afternoon in honor of The American Home, 1900 - 1915 exhibition. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about the importance of the American Arts & Crafts movement through the scholarly expertise of Susan J. Montgomery, the guest curator for The American Home, 1900 - 1915 exhibition. Susan will be joined by Donna Climenhage, curator of collections at the Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park. Following the presentation is a panel discussion. An afternoon tea will be served. Also, Susan Montgomery will be available to sign the exhibition catalog and her book, The Ceramics of William H. Grueby: The Spirit of New Idea in Artistic Handicraft. Fee. Please call (727) 712-5226 for reservations by March 8. (right: George Prentiss Kendrick (American, 1850 - 1919), designer, Vase, ca. 1900, stoneware, 11 1/2 x 9 3/4 diameter inches. Grueby Faience Company, Boston)

Day Tripping...

On Friday, March 24, Education Coordinator Patti Buster will escort guests to the Morse Museum in Winter Park to view their Arts & Crafts treasures. Highlights of the museum visit include an introductory film, docent tour and visits to two special exhibitions - Windows and Wonders: Tiffany from the Morse Vaults and Secrets of Tiffany Glassmaking. Before visiting the Museum, the group will stop to enjoy lunch on prestigious Park Avenue. The all day bus trip leaves the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at 9 a.m. and returns at approximately 6:30 p.m. Fee. Please call Education Coordinator Patti Buster, (727) 712-5226, for reservations by March 17.

Susan J. Montgomery, Guest Curator

Susan J. Montgomery holds a B.A. in art history from Smith College and a Ph.D. in American & New England Studies from Boston University and is an independent scholar of the decorative arts. A specialist in the New England potters of the Arts & Crafts movement, she is the author of The Ceramics of William H. Grueby: The Spirit of the New Idea in Artistic Handicraft (1993). She was a contributing curator for Inspiring Reform: Boston's Arts & Crafts Movement at the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College in 1997, and has curated exhibitions at the Addison Gallery of American Art and the Hood Museum of Art. She is currently working on an exhibition of Marblehead Pottery.

About the Two Red Roses Foundation, Tarpon Springs, Florida

The Two Red Roses Foundation is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to the acquisition, restoration, and public exhibition of important examples of furniture, pottery and tiles, lighting, textiles, and fine arts from the American Arts & Crafts movement. The Foundation has been endowed by generous gifts from Florida businessman Rudy Ciccarello, who has assembled since 1997 one of the largest personal collections of Arts & Crafts in America.

Exceptional and uniquely American art, including Gustav Stickley furniture, pottery and ceramic tiles by the Grueby Faience Company of Boston and Cincinnati's Rookwood Pottery, Dirk Van Erp hammered copper lamps, and painting by Arthur Wesley Dow, Edward Potthaust and Childe Hassam, will be accessible to the public in Florida.