Roycroft

The name "Roycroft" was chosen after the printers, Samuel and Thomas Roycroft, who made books in London from about 1650–1690. And beyond this, the word roycroft had a special significance to Elbert Hubbard, meaning King's Craft. In guilds of early modern Europe, king's craftsmen were guild members who had achieved a high degree of skill and therefore made things for the King. The Roycroft insignia was borrowed from the monk Cassiodorus, a 13th-century bookbinder and illuminator. Elbert Hubbard had been influenced by the ideas of William Morris on a visit to England. He was unable to find a publisher for his book Little Journeys, so inspired by Morris's Kelmscott Press, decided to set up his own private press to print the book himself, founding Roycroft Press. His championing of the Arts and Crafts approach attracted a number of visiting craftspeople to East Aurora, and they formed a community of printers, furniture makers, metalsmiths, leathersmiths, and bookbinders. A quotation from John Ruskin formed the Roycroft "creed": A belief in working with the head, hand and heart and mixing enough play with the work so that every task is pleasurable and makes for health and happiness. The inspirational leadership of Hubbard attracted a group of almost 500 people by 1910, and millions more knew of him through his essay A Message to Garcia. In 1915 Hubbard and his wife, noted suffragist Alice Moore Hubbard, died in the sinking of RMS Lusitania, and the Roycroft community went into a gradual decline. Following Elbert's death, his son Bert took over the business. In attempts to keep his father's business afloat, Bert proposed selling Roycroft’s furniture through major retailers. Sears & Roebuck eventually agreed to carry the furniture, but this was only a short lived success. Fourteen original Roycroft buildings are located in the area of South Grove and Main Street in East Aurora. Known as the "Roycroft Campus", this rare survival of an art colony was awarded National Historic Landmark status in 1986. The Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum, housed in the George and Gladys Scheidemantel House, in East Aurora is the main collection and research centre for the work of the Roycrofters.
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Title: Dard Hunter Vase
Artist: Roycroft
Roycroft items began being produced in the late 19th-century in East Aurora, NY, the workshop and community forming around the entrepreneurial spirit of Elbert Hubbard, his theories around artistic upheaval and a gradual societal unshackling from boundaries imposed in the Victorian era having pushed him to invest in and establish an assortment of manufacturing space for craft works. Of the various forms of production that took place — printing, furniture making, leather working — the results of the metal workshop, with hammered copper in particular, have become highly sought after for their charm and cultivated beauty, the design and fabrication ushering in a stripped back and cleaner approach to form, part-influenced by various member’s exposure to European Secessionist and proto-Modernist movement.
Title: Pair of Bookends
Artist: Roycroft
Roycroft items began being produced in the late 19th-century in East Aurora, NY, the workshop and community forming around the entrepreneurial spirit of Elbert Hubbard, his theories around artistic upheaval and a gradual societal unshackling from boundaries imposed in the Victorian era having pushed him to invest in and establish an assortment of manufacturing space for craft works. Of the various forms of production that took place — printing, furniture making, leather working — the results of the metal workshop, with hammered copper in particular, have become highly sought after for their charm and cultivated beauty, the design and fabrication ushering in a stripped back and cleaner approach to form, part-influenced by various member’s exposure to European Secessionist and proto-Modernist movement. Middle orb and cross mark;
Title: Rare Candlestick
Artist: Roycroft
Roycroft items began being produced in the late 19th-century in East Aurora, NY, the workshop and community forming around the entrepreneurial spirit of Elbert Hubbard, his theories around artistic upheaval and a gradual societal unshackling from boundaries imposed in the Victorian era having pushed him to invest in and establish an assortment of manufacturing space for craft works. Of the various forms of production that took place — printing, furniture making, leather working — the results of the metal workshop, with hammered copper in particular, have become highly sought after for their charm and cultivated beauty, the design and fabrication ushering in a stripped back and cleaner approach to form, part-influenced by various member’s exposure to European Secessionist and proto-Modernist movement. Orb and cross mark; Literature: The FRA, March 1916, p. xxiv-b