An Arts & Crafts Exploration of the “Gilded Age” in Seaside Rhode Island
by Kate Nixon
Gilded Age Getaway
September 6th – September 9th, 2022
For those fans of the HBO-produced show “The Gilded Age” who swore they saw Arts and Crafts era design in the background, consider this trip an epic start to this year’s fall season.
For a triumphant return of the Farms Afield program, a series of educational travel destinations curated by the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, the historic mansions of seaside Newport, Rhode Island will be explored with a curated lens by Ulysses Grant Dietz, Chief Curator Emeritus of the Newark Museum, and Stickley Museum Director of Collections Jonathan Clancy in collaboration with the Preservation Society of Newport County. The curated tour will consist of seven mansions in the Newport area including: The Marble House, The Breakers, the Isaac Bell House, Chateau-Sur-Mer and three other mansions, many of them serve as filming locations for HBO’s popular historical drama The Gilded Age. While the mansions are open for public tours, this one-of-a-kind special program with Dietz and Clancy will explore the mansions with an eye for Arts and Crafts details, giving museum members a look at the social and architectural influence of the Arts and Crafts era within the mansions of Newport. Additionally, Dietz will give an exclusive tour of his new exhibition for the Preservation Society of Newport County, “Anything You Want: A Closer Look at Treasures of Newport’s Gilded Age” in the galleries at the Rosecliff mansion.
This in person trip will include a three night stay at the historic Hotel Viking, an elegant Colonial Revival-style icon nestled in the Historic Hill district on famed Bellevue Avenue, within walking distance from Newport Harbor. While travel to and from Newport is not included, the package includes several amenities. (Click here to read more about the member package and cost.)
The trip is open to Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms museum members only. If you’d like to consider becoming a Stickley Museum member, please click here.
The Farms Afield trips and fundraising efforts thus far had been virtual for the past two years via Zoom, so when the idea to finally plan an in-person trip materialized, Executive Director Vonda Givens and Director of Collections & Instructor Jonathan Clancy found an enthusiastic ally in Ulysses Grant Dietz for helping to plan this road to Rhode Island.
“We’ve been holding on to the idea of a Farms Afield in Newport, RI, for a long time and it finally sprang from one of our Saturday design history classes with Jonathan Clancy,” said Givens. “When we were ready to plan it, Ulysses was visiting Newport regularly in his guest curator role for the Preservation Society of Newport County. Ulysses is a longtime friend of the museum and when we asked for his guidance, he immediately offered to help us make connections and put together an itinerary for Arts and Crafts fans.”
Through the curated angle of seeing the mansions of Newport through the Arts and Crafts lens paired with the seaside beauty of the mansions of Newport, the trip will be an unforgettable experience not only for fans of the HBO show, but for those curious about the Arts and Crafts influence behind those luxurious mansion doors. “The PSNC has been incredibly generous with accommodating our requests and our vision to see the mansions from an Arts and Crafts perspective. With Ulysses joining us in our travels, as our Education Manager Kristen McCauley recently said, “this trip is going to be epic.’”
To sign up, visit the Stickley Museum’s website using the link below:
Virtual Curator Talk:
“Morris and Company: The making of an exhibition”
Thursday, April 28, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT
In the month of April, the Stickley Museum will also give its members a special behind-the-scenes presentation with an Art Institute curator about the works of “Morris & Company: the Business of Beauty.” Morris & Co, founded over 160 years ago by William Morris, became well known for their original designs, popular with early 20th Century interiors due to their designs in tribute to the natural world. Morris was an influential figure in a group of artists that sought to reform design, attempting to overtake the industrial influence with their emphasis on thoughtful design and production.
The present exhibition at the Art Institute, which is the basis for this talk by curator Melinda Watt, comprises approximately 40 works, drawn primarily from the museum’s significant holdings, many of which were generously given to the museum by Mr. and Mrs. John Bryan and the Crab Tree Farm Foundation in 2018. These recent acquisitions and modern scholarship help to give a fuller picture of the artistic output of the company, especially as regards the work of May Morris (1862-1938). And although Morris & Co. closed its doors in 1940, the company’s aesthetic vision remains potent to this day through the continued reimagining and reworking of the textile and wallpaper designs. the exhibition explores that longevity, highlighting Morris & Co.’s design tenets and favored techniques as well as Chicago area sites where the work of Morris and his contemporaries appeared.
Museum Members: reserve your spot today by clicking this link!