Arts & Culture

Roycroft History Course Celebrates Women Artists Past and Present

 East Aurora, NY – The Roycroft Campus will be offering a new Roycroft History Course this Fall. The semester’s theme will be “Women Artists and the Arts & Crafts.” We will explore a variety of historical and contemporary female artists who have had a lasting impact on the Roycroft and the Art World. A different guest speaker will be leading each class, which take place Thursday evenings starting October 4th at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House, 39 South Grove in East Aurora, across the street from the Roycroft Inn.

The history course begins on Thursday, October 4th with Art History adjunct professor and Campus Program Director, Alan Nowicki. He will be discussing the role that photographer, Frances Benjamin Johnston, and sculptor, Katharine Maltwood, would have on the Roycroft. These two somewhat unknown women would leave a lasting imprint on not only the Campus, but both the United States and Canada.

On October 11th, Dr. James Spates, Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, will be introducing Kate Greenaway and Francesca Alexander, two of John Ruskin’s great women artists. In his writings and lectures, Ruskin praised the importance of their work and argued that both should be viewed as major artists. Dr. Spates will tell the story not only of their friendships but explain why Ruskin, who had previously heralded only male artists, thought so highly of Greenaway and Alexander, and their art.

“The Hotel Lafayette: Restoring Louise Bethune’s Masterpiece” will be presented on November 1st. Louise Bethune was the first professional woman architect in the country, and designer of The Hotel Lafayette. After years of neglect, the restoration of her architectural masterpiece was completed. Award winning photographer, Jackie Albarella, followed the restoration from the first day to the Grand Re-opening. She captured the restoration in images and stories from the many highly skilled craftspeople, artists and contractors who brought Bethune’s opus back to life.

Finally, on November 8th, Kateri Ewing, Roycroft Campus artist-in-residence, will discuss her process, work and upcoming new book, “Look Closer, Draw Better.” Her work isn’t so much about creating art or making a statement as it is an avenue to convey how thoroughly in awe she is of the natural world around her. Come and be inspired as she imagines ways to share the beauty and uniqueness of her winged and botanical subjects.

The Roycroft History Course, which includes all four presentations, is $25 for the general public, or become a Roycroft Campus member and the course is only $10. Registration is now open. For further information visit the Roycroft Campus website at or call (716) 655-0261, seven days a week from 10 am – 5 pm.

The Roycroft Campus Corporation (RCC) is a not for profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the Roycroft Campus, a National Historic Landmark in East Aurora, New York.  From 1895 to 1938, the Roycroft Campus was one of the most successful and well-known components of the Arts & Crafts Movement in the United States, consisting of a community of over 500 artisans and craftspeople led by writer and charismatic leader, Elbert Hubbard.  The RCC’s mission is to inspire visitors to experience the creativity, ideals and future of the Arts & Crafts Movement and to further promote and preserve the Roycroft Campus.

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News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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