by Kate Nixon
03/06/20 – This article has been updated to reflect the updated news: the Museum will open in early Summer of 2020)
Downtown St. Petersburg, Florida will see an influx of visiting Arts and Crafts collectors and enthusiasts this winter when the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement – or MAACM – will open its doors for the first time. MAACM is the only major museum in the nation dedicated to this important movement in the history of American decorative arts (c. 1900-1930). The $90 million, 5-story, 137,000-square-foot building is the culmination of a six-year collaboration between founder, collector, and benefactor Rudy Ciccarello and award-winning architect Alberto Alfonso, of Alfonso Architects – and the date for the opening ceremony has been set.
According to The Two Red Roses Foundation and the museum’s website, the museum will be open to the public in the early summer of 2020.
Located at 355 4th Street North in St. Petersburg, Florida, the five-story, 137,000 square-foot building will feature architectural elements such as a grand atrium, skylights, and a dramatic spiral staircase, all adorned with period art, light fixtures, stained glass windows, fireplaces, and more. The building is accentuated with Brazilian granite panels and Arts and Crafts-era tile murals that create a bold architectural presence. Once inside, visitors will find themselves in the Grand Atrium, soaring five stories high. Lit from above by Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired stained-glass skylights and framed by an 80-foot historic tile mural, the first floor is home to the Museum store, Café, Ambrosia Restaurant, and a research library.
The rest of the museum has more than 40,000 square feet of permanent gallery space and 10,000 additional square feet dedicated to changing exhibitions. The permanent galleries will hold the collection of art objects from the Two Red Roses Foundation Collection, started by Ciccarello in 1997. The collection of more than 2,000 objects includes rare and one-of-a-kind examples of furniture, pottery, metalwork, tiles, lighting, color wood blocks, photography, jewelry, and fine art created in the early years of the twentieth century. In addition to gallery space, there is an auditorium, a large event and banquet hall, a graphic studio, and education studio. Sixty thousand square feet of quartersawn white oak flooring creates a warm environment that pays homage to the movement’s love and use of natural materials.
The MAACM looks forward to welcoming visitors in December 2019 opening with three temporary exhibitions. Formal announcements regarding exhibitions and other programming will be made in the coming months.