To commemorate the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth an international conference will both celebrate Wright’s legacy and Buffalo’s preeminent place in the origins of the American Arts and Crafts Movement this weekend. The full conference schedule can be seen here.
The conference will zero in on how and why the Buffalo region became the national capital for design, production and innovation in American Arts and Crafts. With the region’s wealth of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, The Roycroft Campus, Charles Rohlfs, The Larkin Company, Buffalo Pottery, The Arts and Crafts Shop, Stickley, Heintz Art Metal, Adelaide Robineau, Karl Kipp, Walrath Pottery and so many others, no other region of the country can claim the density of local production. In contrast to the British variant, many members of this Buffalo School of Arts and Crafts freely used the region’s technological prowess to achieve a seamless melding of industrial techniques and handcrafted design, detail and quality—the signature of American Arts and Crafts. This conference will examine how and why.
In addition to the conference there has been on ongoing exhibition that is free and open to the public through October 29th at Hayes Hall on the UB South Campus. The exhibition, Wright’s Larkin: Arts and Crafts in Industry, is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm. It foregrounds the remarkable synergy between The Larkin Company and Frank Lloyd Wright, the period’s two most disruptive forces in their respective fields. Wright’s commission to design the Larkin Company Administration Building of 1906 showed how utopian Arts and Crafts ideals and technological advance could come together in ways that significantly changed modern industry. This exhibition gathers together many never before seen Wright-designed objects from the now destroyed Larkin Building, along with a spectacular collection of Larkin products. More information here.
If that wasn’t enough, there are two addition exhibits happening at the Larkin Center of Commerce (701 Seneca Street) and the Burchfield Penny Art Center (1300 Elmwood Avenue). The Larkin Center of Commerce is hosting the History of the Larkin Soap Company at their newly minted museum space and the Burchfield is displaying Wright, Roycroft, Stickley & Rohlfs: Defining the Buffalo School Arts & Crafts Aesthetic through November 26th, more info here.