IAC Arts and Crafts Conference Returns to Chicago


This week, we’re giving the news spotlight to Initiatives of Art and Culture, an organization dedicated to educating diverse audiences in the fine, decorative, and visual arts. You’ll hear about next month’s Arts and Crafts Conference in Chicago, where attendees will visit exclusive sites, tour amazing collections, and see special events. Remember to look for a special code at the end of the article to get $100.00 off registration for our readers only!



Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, The Auditorium Building, 1889. Photo: Nagel Photography.


Each year, Initiatives in Art and Culture (IAC)’s Arts and Crafts Conference visits a different center of the Movement —among then Boston, Philadelphia, Pasadena, New York and Buffalo. This year, IAC returns to—and celebrates— Chicago from Thursday, September 19 – Sunday, 22, 2019.

Chicago’s expressions of the Arts and Crafts Movement are extraordinary. Its architecture, interiors, art, and decorative objects of the period embody something that was completely new while at the same time thoroughly rooted in tradition. Perhaps they felt less constrained by convention than their peers to the east, imbued with a unique sense of possibility by a boundless horizon, whether that of Lake Michigan on one side or of the frontier (however diminished) on the other.

Through talks, exclusive site visits and collections tours, and other private events crafted specifically to enhance the program we will consider how the City’s architects, artists, and artisans developed a design vocabulary specific to the region.

Among Highlights:


  • Glessner House (H.H. Richardson, 1887)

With keynote by Richard Guy Wilson (University of Virginia) and discussion of Isaac Scott and the Craftsmen of Glessner House by William Tyre, (Glessner House.) The Robie House (Frank Lloyd Wright, 1910)


Frank Lloyd Wright, Robie House, 1910. Photo: James Caulfield; courtesy, Harboe Architects.


  • Monadnock Building (Burnham & Root 1891), Marquette Building (Holabird & Roche 1895) featuring Tiffany mosaic murals and The Rookery (Burnham & Root 1888, with subsequent work by Frank Lloyd Wright) with a rare opportunity to view the Burnham Library.
  • W. Glasner Studio (Edgar Miller, 1928 – 1932, remodeled 1946), exempliying Miller’s work which spans many movements expressed through varied mediums.
  • Charnley–Persky House (Louis Sullivan, 1892, with major contributions by Frank Lloyd Wright).
  • The Graham Foundation located in the Madlener House (architect, Richard E. Schmidt and designer Hugh M.G. Garden, 1901 – 1902).
  • The Fortnightly of Chicago, Chicago’s oldest private women’s organization (founded, 1873 by Kate Newell Doggett and located in the Helen and Bryan Lathrop House (Charles Follen McKim, 1892). Optional seated lunch and program with talk by John Vinci: Life and Landmarks co-authors Robert Sharoff, and William Zbaren. Mr. Vinci will be present.
  • Private afternoon and evening at Second Presbyterian Church (James Renwick, 1874; Howard van Doren Shaw, interior after 1900 fire) includes tours and talks on the sanctuary’s art and architecture. Nate Lielasus, Northworks Architects.
  • The Auditorium Theater (Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, 1889).

A walking tour focusing on the work of Sullivan and the Chicago Cultural Center (Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge 189 with stained-glass domes by Healy & Millet and Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company of New York) led by Tom Drebenstedt.


Frank Lloyd Wright, Unity Temple interior, 1909. Photo: courtesy, Harboe Architects.


Oak Park:

  • The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio (Frank Lloyd Wright 1889, renovation by Wright, 1895, construction of Studio Wing 1998).
  • Walk through Forest Avenue for a deeper understanding of Wright’s work up to 1909 in Oak Park by viewing such structures as the Peter A. Beachy House (Remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1906) and Arthur B. Heurtley House (Frank Lloyd Wright, 1902).
  • Private evening in Unity Temple (Frank Lloyd Wright, 1909) featuring a talk by Gunny Harboe, FAIA, Restoring World Heritage Sites: Unity Temple and the Robie House.


Edgar Miller, Entry Foyer to the R. W. Glasner Studio. Photo: Alexander Vertikoff; courtesy, Edgar Miller Legacy.


Day trip to Lake Forest, Kenilworth and Chicago’s Hutchinson Street

  • Private Visit and Lunch at Crab Tree Farm to view the superlative collection of English and American decorative arts displayed in settings that reflect the aesthetics of the Arts & Crafts Movement, the loan exhibition, “Newcomb Pottery at Crab Tree Farm: Featuring the Fuldner Collection of Early Newcomb Pottery” and the Woodworking Studio.
  • Ragdale (Howard Van Doren Shaw, 1897), the home that Shaw designed for himself with Shaw authority Stuart Cohen.
  • The Village of Kenilworth. Here, architect and town planner George W. Maher, a Prairie School contemporary of Wright, created over 40 buildings including his masterpiece, the Kenilworth Assembly Hall (1906 – 1907) and promoted the Village’s beautification with a fountain and benches (1901). In the 1920s, he guided annexation of adjacent land, assuring that the Village grew while maintaining its original character. Kathleen Cummings, specialist in Maher, introduces work.

Tour Chicago’s Hutchinson Street: a block long street with five homes by George W. Maher: Edwin J. Mosser House (1901 – 1902), Claude Seymour House (1912), William H. Lake House (1904), Mrs. Grace Brackebush House (1909), and John C. Scales House (1894).


Event Information:

Registration site: www.iacartsandcrafts2019.eventbrite.com

Date: September 19-22, 2019

Contact: 646-485-1952 or [email protected]

For the Arts and Crafts Collector community: Use promo code ANCCOLLECTOR for $550 registration (in lieu of $650).


Social Media Handles:

Instagram: @initiatives_in_art_culture

Facebook: @initiativesinartandculture

Twitter: @Artinitiatives_

Conference hashtags: #iacartsandcraftsconference #iacartsandcrafts2019 #iacchicago2019 #iacconferenceseries