~ The Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Conference ~ Asheville, North Carolina ~ February 21 - 23, 2014
"The most important weekend of the year for Arts & Crafts collectors." - The New York Times
Mayor Bellamy Proclaims
February 12-18 As
"Arts & Crafts
Citing the role the American Arts & Crafts movement has played in the "artistic, architectural, aesthetic and economic development of the City of Asheville," Mayor Terry Bellamy recently signed an official proclamation earmarking the week of February 12th-18th as Arts & Crafts Heritage Week.
What had begun in England in the 1850s as a revolt against the dehumanizing effect of the Industrial Revolution evolved in America as a fresh approach to home design, their furnishings and the burdens they often presented to a rising middle class. In place of poorly-constructed, over-ornate furniture adorned with meaningless carvings and applied decorations, architects and designers such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Gustav Stickley and the Roycrofters offered simple, modest, straight-lined furnishings that were both well-designed and well-constructed.
The emergence of the American Arts & Crafts movement and the symbolic, simple bungalow coincided with Asheville's most significant era of residential development. The arrival of the railroad in 1880 spawned a wave of home building influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement that can still be seen today in neighborhoods such as Albemarle Park, Montford, Kenilworth, Biltmore Village and West Asheville. In place of towering Queen Ann mansions, local architects such as Richard Sharp Smith and Ronald Greene designed modest middle class homes unencumbered by unnecessary rooms and household servants.
Today the Arts & Crafts movement is alive, well and flourishing in Asheville, evidenced by number of artisan galleries, studios and workshops in the area, as well as by the popularity of new homes and businesses still being built in the Arts & Crafts style. The iconic Grove Park Inn, built and furnished in 1913 in the Arts & Crafts style, has for the past quarter of a century hosted the National Arts & Crafts Conference and Antiques Show welcomes more than 2,000 Arts & Crafts collectors each February.
Conference director Bruce Johnson, who in 1988 conceived of the idea of an Arts & Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn, approached Mayor Bellamy with the idea for Arts & Crafts Heritage Week. "While Asheville has garnered numerous accolades in recent years," he observed, "it has always been the 'Arts & Crafts Capital of the South.' Numerous organizations, including the Asheville Art Museum, HandMade in America, the Preservation Society, and the Asheville chapter of the American Institute of Architects, have played key roles in preserving our Arts & Crafts heritage. It seemed only fitting that we should designate this week to both continue in that tradition and to share our information with those people to share our enthusiasm for all things Arts & Crafts."