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Little Journeys Returns to The Roycroft Inn

The Roycrofters-at-Large (RALA), in cooperation with The Roycroft Inn, announces the return of its Little Journeys Artist Speaker Series to the Inn with “Vagabondage and Secession, A Little Journey with Carl Sadkichi Hartmann.” on Thursday, Feb. 1. This lecture will be presented by President and Master Artisan in Photography Peter Potter.

In 1910, Alfred Stieglitz, in cooperation with the Albright Gallery, made possible an international exhibition of pictorial photography in Buffalo, NY. This exhibition was the first of its kind, and aimed to elevate the stature of the young medium of photography from a scientific craft-based pursuit to a visual form of fine artistic expression. This exhibition was Stieglitz and his colleagues in the Photo-Secession Movement’s answer to the challenge of elevating photography above what Anthony Bannon called in his essay in The Photo-Pictorialists of Buffalo (1981) “the albatross of fact.”  By the early 20th century photographs had been used in newspapers and other forms of documentation for almost fifty years, and a new generation of artists was using photography as an art medium, working to overcome public perception of photography.  The International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography at the Albright Gallery introduced more than 600 photographs by 65 working artists, many of whom are now world renowned in the historical canon of art history, to a curious public. This ground-breaking exhibit claimed and established photography as fine art. 

What is less known is that Elbert Hubbard’s Roycroft Shops, known for printmaking and artisanal work, were unlikely players at these crossroads as photography evolved from a documentary craft to an expressive art, thanks to significant ties to Stieglitz, Steichen and the artists of the “Little Gallery” working in the new field of pictorial photography. An enigmatic polymath named Carl Sadakichi Hartmann was the nexus for this connection between pre-war East Aurora and the broader art movements and radical social sentiments of the period. 

Sadakichi Hartmann by Ben Berlin, 1934

Sadakichi Hartmann’s influence and his role on the Roycroft Campus and the larger art world of the time will be explored and presented by Master Photographer Peter Potter, president of the Roycrofters-at-Large, on Thurs., Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. in the Morris Room of The Roycroft Inn. The presentation will be followed by a period of informal conversation and socializing. Guests who attend Little Journeys will receive 10% off of dinner at The Roycroft Inn that evening beginning at 7:30 p.m. by mentioning Little Journeys when making a reservation. 

The Roycroft Inn will host a relaxed start to the evening with a 5:00 PM - Happy Hour in the Lounge with cocktail and drink specials to mingle and unwind before the main event.

RALA’s Little Journeys connects Roycroft Artisans with the community by offering artist talks, demonstrations and lectures in the Masters’ mediums that educate and create opportunities for collectors and members of the Roycroft community to connect with the modern Roycroft artists, and serves as a homage to Elbert Hubbard’s original Little Journeys, small trips to artists of note that shared intimate glimpses behind their process and lives. For years, this series was an important part of RALA’s presence on South Grove, and offered “show and tell” by Masters and Artisans, Artisan Forums and visiting nationally known speakers. Previous lecturers included notable collectors, curators and authorities in Arts & Crafts movements and history, such as Elbert Hubbard's Great-Granddaughter Mary Hubbard, Kitty Turgeon, officials from Friends of Knox Farm State Park, Patrick Mahoney of the Graycliff Conservancy and a doctoral dissertation by Jill Peter Gradwell in collaboration with the University at Buffalo on the "The Women of Roycroft," that was subsequently published. In 2001,  representatives from the UB School or Architecture and Planning presented "Frank Lloyd Wright in WNY at the Turn of the 20th Century. "

RALA is proud to bring this lecture series back to its birthplace at The Roycroft Inn with a glimpse of lesser-known Roycroft history and its role in the birth of fine art photography.

Carl Sadakichi Hartmann, 1898 by Zaida Ben-Yusuf

This lecture, in keeping with RALA's tradition of sharing information related to the Arts & Crafts History & Revival, is presented Free and Open to the Public.

Final raffle tickets for the 2023-24 “Goodie Box” will also be available. The Goodie Box is a RALA tradition for over 20 years, and is the backbone of its non-profit fund-raising initiatives. This year’s box contains items created by Roycroft Artisans and Master Artisans valued at over $6,000.

This year's "Seasons Tabouret" is a collaboration between Roycroft Master Artisan furniture maker Thomas Pafk and Roycroft Master Artisan oil painter Shawn Kreuger, containing 4 original oil paintings celebrating the venerable Arts and Crafts motif of the Four Seasons, framed in quarter-sawn white oak. It is the centerpiece of the 2023-24 Goodie Box, now in its final month of drawings.

This event will be the final opportunity to purchase tickets locally for next month’s drawing at the 37th National Arts and Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C. The winner need not be present. 

The Roycrofters At Large Association was founded in 1976 with the mission to keep the Arts & Crafts Movement alive guided by principles set forth by founder Elbert Hubbard.  Artisans proudly display the registered “double R mark” representing the quality of their work, and are the only modern working artists permitted to represent themselves as Roycrofters. Jurying for new members is held each April. The 48th Roycroft Summer Festival will be held on June 29 and 30, 2024 at the Classic Rink on Riley Street in East Aurora. 

Follow the Roycrofters-At Large Association’s social media pages at Facebook and Instagram at @roycroftartisans for updates and information. 

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