Conference on Arts and Crafts Movement To Be Presented By Rose Valley Museum and the Decorative Arts Trust

  • ROSE VALLEY, Pennsylvania
  • /
  • August 12, 2021

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The Rose Valley Museum at Thunderbird Lodge. Photo by Carl Finkbeiner

The Arts and Crafts Movement from John Ruskin to William Lightfoot Price

The Rose Valley Museum and the Decorative Arts Trust
Present a Conference on November 6–7, 2021

The Rose Valley Museum and the Decorative Arts Trust will collaborate on a one-of-a-kind two-day conference celebrating the Arts and Crafts Movement in Rose Valley, PA. The program begins on Saturday, November 6 at 11:00 am with the long-awaited public dedication of the William Lightfoot Price Historical Marker across from where Price built his groundbreaking Thunderbird Lodge.

The Rose Valley Museum at Thunderbird Lodge. Photo by Sue Keilbaugh.

When architect Price came to Rose Valley at the turn of the 20th century, there were 12 small houses, one larger stone house, and two old mills. By the time of his death in 1916, Price had transformed Rose Valley and the Greater Philadelphia region with dozens of impressive residences and buildings in the Arts and Craft style that would influence contemporaries and inspire admirers for years to come. 

After local and state leaders gather to laud the impact of Price’s ingenuity, conference attendees are invited to the Hedgerow Theatre to hear lectures by distinguished speakers from across the country. Presenters will share research on acclaimed 19th- and 20th-century English and American architects, designers, and thinkers including John Ruskin, Frank Furness, and Price. Saturday concludes with tours of the Thunderbird Lodge (home of the Rose Valley Museum) and nearby historic architecture. Sunday’s conference schedule includes lectures about influential artist and textile designer William Morris, innovative craftsman C. R. Ashbee, the three Ardens in Delaware, and John Ruskin’s European travels. The program concludes with a lively panel discussion of the current Arts and Crafts Movement. Light refreshments will be served and luncheon provided throughout the conference. 

The conference schedule and lecturers include:  

Saturday, November 6 

  • Dedication of the William Lightfoot Price PHMC Historical Marker at Rose Valley Road and Prices Lane with Tim Plummer, Mayor of Rose Valley and President of the Rose Valley Centennial Foundation, and other local and state dignitaries 
  • “‘The Philadelphia Narrative’: Frank Furness to Will Price and Beyond" with George Thomas, Lecturer in Architecture at Harvard University, Partner in Civic Visions
  • “‘Hand, Head, and Heart’: John Ruskin and the Origin of the Arts and Crafts Movement" with Jim Spates, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Hobart and William Smith College, Companion in the Guild of St. George, Co-Director of the Ruskin Society of North America
  • “‘The Art That Is Life’: Tours of Thunderbird Lodge and Rose Valley" with Rose Valley Museum Guides

Sunday, November 7

  • “‘News From Nowhere’: William Morris, C. R. Ashbee, and the American Arts and Crafts Colonies" with Ryan Berley, Curator of The Rose Valley Museum 
  • “‘You Are Welcome Hither’: The Three Ardens and the Single Tax Community" with Barbara Macklem, Arden Archives Representative 
  • “‘Nothing Can Be Beautiful Which Is Not True': Nature, Beauty & The Old Road Trip of 1882" with Jim Spates
  • “‘Make it About Now’: The Arts and Crafts Movement Today," a discussion with speakers and participants, moderated by Thomas Guiler, Director of Museum Affairs at the Oneida Community Mansion House

Monday, November 8

  • The Arden Craft Shop Museum in Arden, DE, is offering an optional walking tour of their single tax community including luncheon and a visit to the museum. Conference attendees can sign up for this optional tour during registration.

Registration is $80 per day or $125 for two days for Rose Valley Museum and Decorative Arts Trust members. For non-members, registration is $100 per day or $150 for two days. 

Registration opens in mid-September. Register at or by calling 484.444.2961. For more information, email Please note: Program dates and details are subject to change. 

Registration is $50 for two days for students. A limited number of scholarships are available for students and young professionals studying 20th-century architecture and decorative arts.  They are encouraged to contact the Decorative Arts Trust at for information. 


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