Live Sessions Scheduled for February at the Grove Park Inn

by Kate Nixon


Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa aerial photo taken on October 6, 2012 in Asheville, North Carolina – © 2012 David Oppenheimer – Performance Impressions Photography Archives


One of the most popular elements of the National Arts and Crafts Conference, the Small Group Discussion sessions provide the chance to connect with fellow collectors in the cozy setting of the historic Grove Park Inn to talk about collecting Arts & Crafts era works and exploring history, architecture, philosophy and the modern issues facing the Arts and Crafts revival today. Returning to the Grove Park Inn will give the opportunity to participate in these sessions once more in person. Here is a brief overview of the session topics for registered attendees to participate in:


Art Pottery

Collectors of American art pottery can discuss what NOT to do and helpful tips for collectors of all experience levels during “Don’t Do What I Did: Tips for Art Pottery Collectors” with Christine Boone of Christine L. Boone Antiques and Patti Bourgeois of PatsPots. Seminar speakers Tom Folk and Riley Humler will also be on hand during the conference to discuss “The Women of Newcomb” and “Which Rookwood Era is Your Favorite?” respectively; these sessions can often serve as a great opportunity to learn about details not covered by the educational seminars so those attending the seminars get that up close chance to ask questions of the experts.


N. Gordon Gray holds a special session on identifying furniture fakes and forgeries at the 2020 National Arts and Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn. Photo courtesy of N. Gordon Gray. Please note for the 2022 National Arts and Crafts Conference, seats will be spaced further than what appears in this photo and rooms will have fewer seats than in previous years. 


Popular topics about Arts and Crafts furniture will return in time for the conference. As you enjoy the many examples of Arts & Crafts furniture in the Great Hall, you can hear the stories behind the chairs, settles and others as the Furniture 101 Walking Tour of the Grove Park Inn’s collection will return. Do a deep dive into the basics of building Arts and Crafts furniture with Stewart Crick and how to spot the furniture fakes, forgeries and repairs with N. Gordon Gray as their popular sessions return to inform collectors and furniture builders of all experience levels.



For those who want to discuss the philosophy of the Arts and Crafts movement, we’ve got you covered. Seminar speaker Andre Chaves and Dianne Ayres of Arts & Crafts Period Textiles will talk theory, philosophy, and how we use it now during their session “What Does The Arts & Crafts Movement Want With Us?” If you miss that session, not to worry: Pat Bartinique will discuss Arts and Crafts Philosophy during the session “Arts & Crafts: Is It More Than Just Collecting?” The History of Arts and Crafts Women are also covered by Pat in “Arts & Crafts Women: Who Comes To Mind?” (see also “The Women of Newcomb” with Tom Folk)


Art, Textiles & Metalwork

Explore Stickley Brothers copper and rare and unusual metalware with Ron Ciarmello and Bryan Mead during their sessions – and catch the Stickley Brothers copper display case too! Analyze the “Art” of Arts & Crafts with Steve Thomas of Steve Thomas Inc with examples of antique prints. Dianne Ayres will hold a special “Show & Tell” session with antique textiles; while Ayres will have examples, it is required that participants bring pictures of their examples and not bring their own examples into the Vanderbilt Wing during show hours. For those collectors who love all things Roycroft, appraiser and seminar speaker Robert Rust will hold a Roycroft Show and Tell with books, ephemera and all things Roycroft! The same rule applies: all participants must bring images instead of examples.


Restoration & Home Design

Lastly, in sessions in restoration and home design, Norman Blankenship brings back the popular subject “Remuddling, Remodeling, and Restoration” while landscaper Rick Taylor returns with “Planting The Seed: Planning Your Arts & Crafts Landscapes” for those budding gardeners who wants to start the spring season off with a clean slate! The historic sites The Gustav Stickley House Foundation and The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms will present their findings with how to design a historic space with “Respect for the Kitchen: Studying the Log House Kitchen” and “A Gustav Stickley House Update: A New Design Element.”


As expected, rooms that will hold Small Group Discussion topics will have a modified chair setup to optimize on space for participants to distance. There will be a certain amount of chairs assigned to each room and will be represented by a sign in each space. Once those chairs are taken, the session will be considered full.

There are a few openings left for Small Group Discussion topics. If you have a compelling topic for a Small Group Discussion session, we’d love to hear it. Email us at [email protected] and tell us about it.

If you’d like to register for the National Arts and Crafts Conference so you can take part in these Small Group Discussion sessions, please visit us at