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A Symbiotic Partnership

A Symbiotic Partnership
A Symbiotic Partnership
Marrying Commerce to Education at Gustav Stickley’s 1903 Arts & Crafts Exhibitions

The 1903 Syracuse, New York, Arts and Crafts Exhibition is a signature event in the Movement’s history. But were it not for what else happened, the exhibition could be dismissed for what it was: Gustav Stickley’s self-serving, shameless shilling for his hometown United Crafts furniture enterprise. Following a twelve-day run in Stickley’s salesrooms, the exhibition moved ninety miles west to Mechanics Institute in Rochester. Stickley’s traveling exhibit predates by a decade what is usually acknowledged as the first art exhibition held at multiple venues, the New York Armory Show.


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Overview

The 1903 Syracuse, New York, Arts and Crafts Exhibition is a signature event in the Movement’s history. But were it not for what else happened, the exhibition could be dismissed for what it was: Gustav Stickley’s self-serving, shameless shilling for his hometown United Crafts furniture enterprise. Following a twelve-day run in Stickley’s salesrooms, the exhibition moved ninety miles west to Mechanics Institute in Rochester. Stickley’s traveling exhibit predates by a decade what is usually acknowledged as the first art exhibition held at multiple venues, the New York Armory Show. A Symbiotic Partnership reveals the driver of the courtship that led to an unusual marriage between a commercial furniture manufacturer and a not-for-profit educational >institution: a corner cupboard. This previously undocumented cupboard-server, purchased by Mechanics Institute from United Crafts in 1901, spurred a partnership for a co-sponsored exhibition pivotal in the Arts and Crafts Movement’s growth — transforming decorative arts and art education.

Details

Publisher: RIT Press (08/2022)
ISBN-13: 978-1-939125-95-8
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 76
Illustrations: 34, some color
Size: 9 x 10 in.
Shipping Weight: 2lb

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Exhibitions, Expositions, and Trade Fairs 5

The Photographs 10

The Furniture 17

Stickley’s Marketing 26

Rochester’s Readiness and Theodore Hanford Pond 30

The Exhibitions’ Publicity and Reception 39

Conclusion 52

References 58

Acknowledgments 67

Colophon 69