10 Things to Do at the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement
by Kate Nixon
With the recent announcement of the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement opening September 7th, Arts and Crafts collectors from all parts of the country will be planning their trips to St. Petersburg, Florida. Of course, once visitors arrive, then what? We’ve put together a handy list of 10 things visitors can do on their visit so you can plan things out before your arrival. From figuring out where to eat to planning your time at the research library to getting the free audio tour downloaded and ready for use, there’s plenty for visitors to do…
1. Explore the room installations
While exploring the museum, visitors have the opportunity to view unique installations, saved from demolition by the Two Red Roses Foundation. The immersive installations, among them an Arts and Crafts era bedroom and bathroom, surrounds visitors in the Arts and Crafts environment; the custom-tile bathroom put in place originally in 1914 by Grueby Faience and Tile Company shows nearly 1200 glazed tiles depicting irises and water lilies contributing to a water garden-style environment. Another notable example is the 1912 entry hall from the Charles and Henry Greene-designed James A. Culberston House in Pasadena, CA, featuring redwood panels with trees, flowers, and birds carved into its rich wood; the example is a highlight not to be missed by fans of the Greene’s designs. Additionally, a 600-tile Rookwood Pottery mural will greet visitors at the Atrium; the mural created in 1914 will make its public debut at the museum as it has never been installed.
2. View the Opening Exhibits on the Roycroft Legacy and Arts and Crafts Era Photography
Visitors can get a comprehensive look at the Roycroft Legacy with Love, Labor, and Art: The Roycroft Enterprise, where over 75 works made by the Roycroft community, including printed books, furniture, lighting, metalwork, and more can be viewed. The second opening exhibit includes works from two generations of photographers from the 1890s to the 1940s; Lenses Embracing the Beautiful features more than 150 stunning photographs and rare books made by photographers from around the world. To achieve their creative, subjective, and emotional results, they chose accessible subject matter (such as landscapes, still lifes, and figure studies) and utilized soft-focus effects (to mimic the appearance of paintings). The resulting photographic prints were made by special processes such as platinum, photogravure, and gum-bichromate.
3. Explore the research library
A particularly exciting feature for those with an extensive library collection and for those who love collecting books, visitors can, by appointment, visit and explore the museum’s library. The Research Library is designed in period decor, decorated with antique bookcases, leaded glass lamps, and fine paintings. The catalog of books is searchable through museummaacm.org and includes reference books, auction catalogs from Rago, Toomey & Co., Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Skinner, and Bonhams, and antique periodicals like The Craftsman, Camera Work, Keramic Studio, The Brickbuilder, The Studio, and International Studio as well as more recent publications like Style 1900 and American Bungalow.
In order to explore the library, those interested must contact the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement and schedule your time to access the library. Contact the library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Sketch, take notes, and take photos
Sketching, taking notes and taking photos at the museum is allowed and encouraged at the museum. However, to protect the art from damaging permanent marks, only pencils are allowed in the galleries. Please be mindful that flash photography is prohibited, as the light from the flash will damage the works of art and the Museum controls the light levels in the galleries to ensure the art is safe at all times.
5. Take a free audio tour – or buy your Museum tickets – from your smartphone
Before visiting the museum, visitors that own smartphones can download the free MAACM Audio Tour app. The app can be found HERE for iPhone users and HERE for Android phone users. (using Google Play). In addition to using the app to listen to the tour, visitors can also purchase their museum tickets through the app.
The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement’s Audio Tour App includes over 100 audio tour stops from the Museum’s permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. Each audio tour stop features a high-resolution image that users can pinch and zoom to examine details of the work of art, as well as audio and text.
Please be sure to bring your headphones to the museum if you’d like to use the app while seeing the collection in person. Headphones are also available for purchase at the admission desk.
6. Eat and Drink at Ambrosia Bar and Restaurant
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. Special rooms have been designed to dine in, such as the fireplace room or the exclusive chef’s room. If you are in need of lunch or a coffee drink, the Arts Café enjoy premium espressos, house- made desserts, snacks, and lunch Tuesdays through Sundays until 4 p.m.
7. Shop the Museum Store
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.
8. Enjoy the outdoor garden
If visitors feel like taking a break and relaxing outdoors, an outdoor garden with period tiles and fountains will be available for visitors to enjoy at their own leisure.
9. Check out what’s playing in the theater
The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement’s Sunday Film Series, happening on the last Sunday of each month, will feature a cinematic presentation inspired by the collection or exhibitions, followed by a docent-guided tour. Interested visitors visiting during the weekend might consider taking advantage of this program; contact the museum for film descriptions and times.
10. Attend an education studio event with your family
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.
Contacting the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement:
Google Maps directions: 355 4th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone number: (727)-440-4859