November 30, 2021


Without Art It's Really Boring!!!

Museum Of The American Arts & Crafts Movement Opens

7 min read

MAACM primary entrance.

By W.A. Demers

ST PETERSBURG, FLA. – There is tons to do in St Pete on Florida’s gulf coast. Aspect of the Tampa Bay space, “Sunshine Town,” as it’s nicknamed, is a mecca for golfing, boating, fishing and beachgoing. Culturally wealthy, way too, it hosts the Dali Museum with its Surrealist performs of artwork, as effectively as the Museum of Good Arts, with will work ranging from ancient to contemporary. Now you can increase just one extra visitor magnet to the checklist – the extended-predicted Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement (MAACM), which opened its doors to the public on September 7.

In contrast to most American cultural establishments, MAACM is the recognized ambition of a person man. Rudy Ciccarello, nearby businessman, philanthropist and collector for several several years at The Red Roses Basis (TRRF), experienced a singular vision to make a museum dedicated to the movement that swept the United States among about 1890 and 1930. Showcased listed here are option illustrations of the high-quality and ornamental arts from this time period, whose hallmarks have been handcraftsmanship with very simple and functional types.

When Rodolfo Ciccarello arrived on American shores from Rome in 1968, his vocation trajectory appeared to be diplomatic, starting in Boston at the Italian consulate. His interests took him in other places, on the other hand. In Boston he enrolled initial at Boston College in which he acquired a BA, and then to Northeastern University’s Faculty of Pharmacy where by he was awarded a bachelor of science diploma. From Boston he headed to Florida to a task at the Jack Eckerd Corporation, at the time the largest US pharmacy chain, and for which he produced a home infusion provider. Three a long time afterwards, he established Florida Infusion Solutions, the wonderful achievement of which brought him several distinctions and awards. It also authorized him to pursue his accumulating passion: the American Arts and Crafts Motion.

When requested what he thinks to be the mission of MAACM, Ciccarello replies, “Our mission is to endorse the comprehension of the American Arts and Crafts Motion via the acquisition, conservation, preservation, exhibition and interpretation of the decorative and high-quality arts. We strive to keep focused on these goals just about every day.”

Philanthropist and collector Rudy Ciccarello has founded the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to the American Arts and Crafts Movement.

Philanthropist and collector Rudy Ciccarello has started the only museum in the earth devoted exclusively to the American Arts and Crafts Motion.

And the showcase is itself a showcase – a decidedly present day jewel box arising in St Petersburg’s bustling downtown waterfront arts district. On a Facebook team devoted to the Arts and Crafts Motion, a article about the museum’s imminent opening created some uncharitable responses, with one particular poster composing snarkily, “I was not mindful that Brutalist concrete and partitions of glass ended up hallmarks of Arts and Crafts.”

Ciccarello chose to perform with award-successful, Tampa-centered architect Alberto Alfonso to layout the 137,000-square-foot setting up, which is a get the job done of art by itself. “The collaboration with Alberto was 1 of the definitely satisfying encounters of my lifestyle,” Ciccarello explained to Antiques and The Arts Weekly. “We produced an wonderful functioning romance based on belief and comprehension that has also made into a near, own friendship. We labored jointly, shoulder to shoulder, on nearly each part of the idea design of MAACM. Egos ended up still left at the door. Every depth was regarded as, each and every important decision was manufactured with each other from inventive to development and installation. I couldn’t be much more delighted and prouder of the result.”

Ciccarello, without a doubt, disagrees with the premise that the museum’s architectural type is so various from the aesthetics of the American Arts and Crafts Motion. “When we deemed the strategy and style, it was essential that the making have a contemporary glimpse but at the identical time embrace the primary tenets of the Arts and Crafts Movement the use of pure materials, craftsmanship, sort and perform. For case in point, the extraordinary exterior ovoids, thousands of square toes of American white oak flooring – the favorite of A&C artisans – a enormous spiral staircase with Venetian plaster applied by hand that is our interpretation of the iconic Glasgow Rose, the FLW-influenced stained glass skylights and many other illustrations deliver a seamless changeover that celebrates the outdated and the new.”

Frederick Hurten Rhead, “Peacock,” 1910, four-tile panel, Art Academy of the People’s University, 20¾ by 20¾ inches.

Frederick Hurten Rhead, “Peacock,” 1910, four-tile panel, Artwork Academy of the People’s University, 20¾ by 20¾ inches.

The expansive museum consists of more than 40,000-sq.-toes of gallery space, as well as an outdoor yard with period of time tiles and fountains. In addition to galleries, MAACM has an education and learning studio, graphic studio, retail retail outlet, investigation library, theater, event house, café and place cafe. The multi-story structure, flanked by a four-tale 300-vehicle parking garage, incorporates exhibition galleries, as well as supplemental areas for special exhibitions and social occasions. A 100-seat auditorium, a library specializing in mid-Twentieth Century structure and architecture, present shops and bookstore are all aspect of the mix.

The place truly will work when a person enters the museum and sees the collection, with merchandise like home windows, fireplaces and tiles in place options that are element of interval installations integrated into the inside style. A novelty, these installations incorporate space configurations. “Creating period vignettes was often aspect of the learn approach,” mentioned Ciccarello. “It was essential to offer installations that would give the visitor a very authentic sense of what lifetime was like throughout the motion, highlighting the significance of the house, elegance and operation. The bed room vignette, the Iris Lavatory, the Greene and Greene entry corridor, the boathouse flooring, are all illustrations. We prepare on introducing other examples in the long term.”

In 2004, he donated the greater part of his particular selection to the nonprofit TRRF that he established. Even though MAACM owns a quantity of objects, the wide the greater part of will work of artwork shown are from the TRRF assortment. Explained Ciccarello, “The foundation owns close to 2,000 objects from the interval, permitting us to freshen the galleries with new items from time to time, quite a few of which have not been seen in many years. We foresee to begin with displaying approximately 800 operates of artwork when MAACM opens its doorways.”

Individually gathered by Ciccarello more than much more than three many years, the objects stand for the most noteworthy artists, craftsmen and businesses with furnishings, pottery, tiles, metalwork, lighting, leaded glass, woodblock prints, paintings and pictures. MAACM’s everlasting selection galleries and exhibition spaces display is effective created by notable movement trailblazers, this sort of as Gustav Stickley, Charles Rohlfs, the Byrdcliffe Colony, the Roycrofters, Tiffany Studios, Dirk van Erp, Grueby Pottery, the Saturday Night Girls, Rookwood Pottery, Newcomb Pottery, Frederick Hurten Rhead, Adelaide Alsop Robineau and Arthur Wesley Dow.

Visitors to MAACM’s galleries have the rare opportunity to experience a variety of immersive Arts and Crafts Movement installations. Room recreations, such as this period bedroom, combine select collection pieces to surround visitors in a complete Arts and Crafts environment.

People to MAACM’s galleries have the scarce opportunity to knowledge a selection of immersive Arts and Crafts Movement installations. Home recreations, these as this interval bedroom, mix decide on collection parts to surround site visitors in a full Arts and Crafts setting.

Two momentary exhibitions have been mounted to illuminate the movement and its long lasting legacy. “Love, Labor, and Art: The Roycroft Enterprise,” at the moment on view as a result of January 9, showcases far more than 75 operates produced by the Roycroft group, which includes printed publications, home furnishings, lighting, metalwork and extra. “Lenses Embracing the Wonderful: Pictorial Images from the Two Purple Roses Basis,” one more opening exhibition, options a lot more than 150 pictorial photographs and exceptional guides from all-around the entire world. These meticulously composed, digital camera-created illustrations or photos mimic the visual appearance of paintings through hand-manipulated consequences, reflecting the greater Arts and Crafts context.

Ciccarello claims MAACM is not just an island for Arts and Crafts aficionados. “We have expended months building robust programming that will have interaction the whole community. From Spouse and children Days to a motion picture collection, to lectures, readings and demonstrations, there will be a little something for everyone. Small children have taken a special area in the preparing with surprises that I will announce at a later day,” he stated.

Also on present are the features that the museum-likely general public expects these times. “I needed the museum to give friends a unique and entertaining working experience and have paid fantastic consideration and detail to offering them excellent amenities,” reported Ciccarello. “Visitors can loosen up and have a speedy chunk or lunch in Arts Café, browse the MAACM Store, dine in the soon to open Ambrosia Restaurant, maintain a exclusive function, wedding day or convention in the banquet house with adjoining artwork filled collector’s gallery and antique bar, just take a class in a single of our studios, or just chill out on a bench in our lovely out of doors inexperienced place surrounded by period of time fountains.”

The immersive art practical experience can also present a unique venue for weddings, corporate affairs and social activities. Its 3,700-square-foot banquet facility can accommodate up to 250 guests, a dance ground and a stage for dwell tunes. Adjacent to the banquet space is the artwork-crammed Collector’s Gallery and the Vintage Bar, featuring an 18-foot Brunswick Mont Oro bar from 1900, antique breakfronts and handcrafted pub tables.

One particular wonders if the museum is the capstone to Ciccarello’s accumulating. He assures us it is not. “I am regularly in search of new acquisitions that will boost the collection and insert to the customer encounter and to the historical past and relevance of the motion. It has turn into very tough to discover uncommon and iconic examples these days as the very most effective stay in the hands of non-public collectors and museums. That does not quit me from on the lookout.”

The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement is at 355 4th Street North.

For much more data, these kinds of as pricing and hrs of procedure, or to reserve tickets, 727-440-4859 or


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