Construction Begins on $40 Million Museum of the American Arts & Crafts in Florida

Rendering of the Museum of the American Arts & Crafts Movement, north side.
Rendering of the Museum of the American Arts & Crafts Movement, north side.
(Alfonso Architects )
Portion of small private room in the museum restaurant.
Portion of small private room in the museum restaurant.
(Alfonso Architects )

Florida businessman and art collector Rudy Ciccarello has endowed the Two Red Roses Foundation, a non-profit educational institution, with extraordinary gifts to foster an appreciation of America's Arts & Crafts Movement. Now, the foundation has a new Museum of the American Arts & Crafts Movement under construction to promote the high quality craftsmanship and design philosophy of the early 20th century.

Construction fencing went up this week around the site for the 90,000-square-foot museum designed by Alfonso Architects at 333 Third Ave. North in St. Petersburg, Florida. The museum is scheduled to open in 2017. 

"It's a $40 million project,” Wayne Stherholt, the city cultural affairs director, told My Fox Tampa Bay. "It's probably the best collection of American Arts and Crafts artifacts that exists, so it's a very important museum."

Artifacts will bedisplayed in room settings showcasing hundreds of objects from Ciccarello's fine-and decorative-arts collections. Space for special exhibitions and events are planned along with a small auditorium, library, restaurant and cafe, gift shop, and bookstore.

Highights of the collection include top-tier works by Gustav Stickley and Stickley Brothers, Charles Rohlfs, the artists of Byrdcliffe, Dirk van Erp, Roycroft, William Grueby, the Saturday Evening Girls, Newcomb College, Arthur Wesley Dow, and others. A collection of photogravures and prints, acquired by the foundation in 2013, includes Pictorialist and Photo-Secessionist works and a portrait of sculptor Auguste Rodin by Edward Steichen.

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