by Kate Nixon
Editor’s note: this article has been updated to include newly revealed images of the museum’s interior.
At long last, the highly-anticipated Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement in St. Petersburg, Florida has announced the date where the doors will be open to the general public.
On Monday, August 23rd, it was announced that the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement will open its doors to the public on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021.
“Our mission is to preserve and share these beautiful works of art with the public and to teach future generations to appreciate hand craftsmanship and honest design.” – Rudy Ciccarello, MAACM Founder
As the first museum in the world dedicated to the movement, the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement (MAACM) will highlight more than 800 works and notable examples of fine and decorative art from the Arts and Crafts Movement, the historic artisan and craftsmanship-based turn of the century movement of design rejecting the mass production of goods during the industrial era, sweeping the country from 1890 and 1930.
Located in St. Petersburg’s waterfront arts district, the museum will features architectural elements such as a grand atrium, skylights, and a dramatic spiral staircase, made of plaster, wood, metal, and stone finishes. The museum includes more than 40,000-square-feet of gallery space, as well as an outdoor garden with tiles of the era and fountains. In addition to galleries, MAACM has an education studio, graphic studio, retail store, research library, theater, event space, café, and destination restaurant.
“This museum will be the epicenter for the study of the American Arts and Crafts movement,” said Rudy Ciccarello, museum founder, businessman, philanthropist, and collector. “Our mission is to preserve and share these beautiful works of art with the public and to teach future generations to appreciate hand craftsmanship and honest design.” MAACM honors the principles of the movement with its 137,000-square-foot building designed by award-winning Tampa-based architect Alberto Alfonso in close collaboration with founder Ciccarello.
Opening exhibitions announced
The temporary exhibitions, which will be available to view on the museum’s opening day, will focus on the Roycroft legacy and photography during the Arts and Crafts era. Love, Labor, and Art: The Roycroft Enterprise, will showcase more than 75 works made by the Roycroft community, including printed books, furniture, lighting, metalwork, and more.
Lenses Embracing the Beautiful: Pictorial Photographs from the Two Red Roses Foundation, another opening exhibition, will reveal more than 150 pictorial photographs and rare books from around the world. The camera-generated images will show hand-manipulated effects meant to look like paintings.
All images courtesy of the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.
The Museum’s schedule of programs will not only compliment the exhibits, but will also feature family-friendly programs. 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. MAACM’s Sunday Film Series, on the last Sunday of each month, will feature a cinematic presentation inspired by the collection or exhibitions, followed by a docent-guided tour.
Personally collected by Ciccarello over more than 3 decades, the Red Roses Foundation’s collection of more than 2,000 objects, are considered the most important private collection of the American Arts and Crafts movement in the world. The most noteworthy artists, craftsmen, and companies are represented by works including furniture, pottery, tiles, metalwork, lighting, leaded glass, woodblock prints, paintings, and photographs. The museum’s permanent collection galleries and three temporary exhibition spaces will display thoughtful works created by Gustav Stickley, Charles Rohlfs, the Byrdcliffe Colony, the Roycrofters, Tiffany Studios, Dirk van Erp, Grueby Pottery, the Saturday Evening Girls, Rookwood Pottery, Newcomb Pottery, Frederick Hurten Rhead, Adelaide Alsop Robineau, and Arthur Wesley Dow and other icons of the movement. MAACM’s one-of-a-kind period installations include a complete wood-paneled room designed by the architectural firm of Greene and Greene, a custom tiled bathroom and boathouse floor by Grueby Faience & Tile Company, and a 600-tile mural from Rookwood Pottery.
For more information on museum hours, ticket prices and purchasing, and current social distancing or mask mandates, visit www.museumaacm.org.
Contact information for The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement:
355 4th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701