Designed to Inspire: The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement Debuts September 7

  • August 29, 2021 16:01

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Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement main entrance. Image ©MAACM. Photo by Joe Brennan.

The highly-anticipated Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement in St. Petersburg, Florida, will open its doors to the public on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. Founded and funded by local businessman, philanthropist, and collector Rudy Ciccarello, the museum is the first in the world dedicated to the movement.

The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement (MAACM) will showcase remarkable examples of fine and decorative art from this important movement, which swept the country between about 1890 and 1930. A reaction against the mass production of the Industrial Revolution, the movement promoted simple and functional designs, hand crafted with quality materials.

“This museum will be the epicenter for the study of the American Arts and Crafts movement,” said Ciccarello. “Our mission is to preserve and share these beautiful works of art with the public and to teach future generations to appreciate hand craftsmanship and honest design.” 

MAACM honors the principles that guided the movement with its finely crafted 137,000-square-foot building, which is a work of art itself. Designed by award-winning Tampa-based architect Alberto Alfonso in close collaboration with Ciccarello, the five-story museum features incredible architectural elements such as a grand atrium, skylights, and a dramatic spiral staircase, with hand-crafted Venetian plaster, wood, metal, and stone finishes. The expansive museum includes more than 40,000-square-feet of gallery space, as well as an outdoor garden with period tiles and fountains. In addition to galleries, MAACM has an education studio, graphic studio, retail store, research library, theater, event space, café, and destination restaurant.

Located in St. Petersburg’s bustling downtown waterfront arts district, MAACM joins the thriving local art and culture community. “The Museum of the American Arts & Crafts Movement is a welcomed addition to Downtown St. Pete’s continuously growing art scene,” states Steve Hayes, president and CEO of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater.

Humidor with dragonfly and arrowhead designs, circa 1905. Tiffany Studios, New York, NY, manufacturer. Silver, enamel, bronze, cedar, ivorine. TRRF collection. Image ©MAACM. Photo by Joe Brennan.

The world’s first museum dedicated to the American Arts and Crafts movement showcases over 800 works of art from an era valuing craftsmanship, simplicity, and honesty.

Works of Art and Programs
Curated from the museum’s own collection and the holdings of the Two Red Roses Foundation (TRRF), MAACM features a vast selection of art, including some of the rarest objects from the movement. Personally collected by Ciccarello over more than 3 decades, the TRRF’s holdings, exceeding 2,000 objects, are considered the most important private collection of the American Arts and Crafts movement in the world. The most noteworthy artists, craftsmen, and companies are represented by works including furniture, pottery, tiles, metalwork, lighting, leaded glass, woodblock prints, paintings, and photographs. MAACM’s permanent collection galleries and three temporary exhibition spaces will display thoughtful works created by notable movement trailblazers such as Gustav Stickley, Charles Rohlfs, the Byrdcliffe Colony, the Roycrofters, Tiffany Studios, Dirk van Erp, Grueby Pottery, the Saturday Evening Girls, Rookwood Pottery, 
Newcomb Pottery, Frederick Hurten Rhead, Adelaide Alsop Robineau, and Arthur Wesley Dow. MAACM’s one-of-a-kind period installations include a complete wood-paneled room designed by the architectural firm of Greene and Greene, a custom tiled bathroom and boathouse floor by Grueby Faience & Tile Company, and a 600-tile mural from Rookwood Pottery. 

Petunias, circa 1920. Margaret Jordon Patterson (American, born Indonesia, 1867-1950). Color woodblock print. TRRF collection. Image ©MAACM. Photo by Joe Brennan.

Temporary exhibitions will illuminate the movement and its lasting legacy. Love, Labor, and Art: The Roycroft Enterprise, showcases over 75 works made by the Roycroft community, including printed books, furniture, lighting, metalwork, and more. Lenses Embracing the Beautiful: Pictorial Photographs from the Two Red Roses Foundation, another opening exhibition, features more than 150 pictorial photographs and rare books from around the world. These carefully composed, camera-generated images mimic the appearance of paintings through hand-manipulated effects, reflecting the larger Arts and Crafts context.

Complementing the art on display, MAACM’s slate of programs are designed to engage the community with the collection. The Education Studio will host MAACM Family Days on the first Saturday of each month, which include art making, performances, and family-friendly guided tours of the collection. Monthly Third Thursday programming will feature themed activities, performances, art making, and demonstrations. MAACM’s Sunday Film Series, on the last Sunday of each month, will feature a cinematic presentation inspired by the collection or exhibitions, followed by a docent-guided tour.

Dining and Shopping
After viewing MAACM’s captivating exhibits, visitors can refuel at the Arts Café and Ambrosia Bar and Restaurant. Arts Café diners enjoy premium espressos, housemade desserts, snacks, and lunch Tuesdays through Sundays until 4 p.m. Featuring the talents of award-winning Executive Chefs, Ambrosia Bar and Restaurant will serve elevated American cuisine and Italian favorites Tuesdays through Sundays. Designed as a seamless continuation of the museum experience, the dining spaces feature period-inspired architecture, warm and inviting antique furniture, and art throughout. Guests can also bring a piece of the MAACM experience home from the Museum Store, offering a carefully curated collection of handcrafted gifts, merchandise, and jewelry inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement. 

Meetings & Events
As an immersive art experience, MAACM is a unique venue for weddings, corporate affairs, and social events. Its 3,700-square-foot banquet facility can accommodate up to 250 guests, a dance floor, and a stage for live music. Adjacent to the banquet area is the art-filled Collector’s Gallery and the Vintage Bar, featuring an 18-foot Brunswick Mont Oro bar from 1900, antique breakfronts, and hand-crafted pub tables.

For more information, such as pricing and hours of operation, or to reserve tickets, visit 
www.museumaacm.org


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