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Roycroft was a reformist community of craft workers and artists which formed part of the Arts and Crafts movement in the United States. Elbert Hubbard founded the community in 1895, in the village of East Aurora, New York, near Buffalo. Participants were known as Roycrofters. The work and philosophy of the group, often referred to as the Roycroft movement, had a strong influence on the development of American architecture and design in the early 20th century.
The Copper Shop, first building of the Roycroft Campus to be restored
|Location||Main and South Grove St., East Aurora, NY|
|NRHP reference #||74001236|
|Added to NRHP||November 8, 1974|
|Designated NHL||February 26, 1986|
The name "Roycroft" was chosen after the printers, Samuel and Thomas Roycroft, who made books in London from about 1650–1690. And beyond this, the word roycroft had a special significance to Elbert Hubbard, meaning King's Craft. In guilds of early modern Europe, king's craftsmen were guild members who had achieved a high degree of skill and therefore made things for the King. The Roycroft insignia was borrowed from the monk Cassiodorus, a 13th-century bookbinder and illuminator.
Elbert Hubbard had been influenced by the ideas of William Morris on a visit to England. He was unable to find a publisher for his book Little Journeys, so inspired by Morris's Kelmscott Press, decided to set up his own private press to print the book himself, founding Roycroft Press.
His championing of the Arts and Crafts approach attracted a number of visiting craftspeople to East Aurora, and they formed a community of printers, furniture makers, metalsmiths, leathersmiths, and bookbinders. A quotation from John Ruskin formed the Roycroft "creed":
A belief in working with the head, hand and heart and mixing enough play with the work so that every task is pleasurable and makes for health and happiness.
The inspirational leadership of Hubbard attracted a group of almost 500 people by 1910, and millions more knew of him through his essay A Message to Garcia.
The Roycroft Press is also credited for publishing partner publications, such as Carl Lothar Bredemeier's The Buffalo Magazine for Arts in 1920.
In 1915 Hubbard and his wife, noted suffragist Alice Moore Hubbard, died in the sinking of RMS Lusitania, and the Roycroft community went into a gradual decline. Following Elbert's death, his son Bert took over the business. In attempts to keep his father's business afloat, Bert proposed selling Roycroft's furniture through major retailers. Sears & Roebuck eventually agreed to carry the furniture, but this was only a short lived success.
Fourteen original Roycroft buildings are located in the area of South Grove and Main Street in East Aurora. Known as the "Roycroft Campus", this rare survival of an art colony was awarded National Historic Landmark status in 1986.
Part of the Roycroft Campus, the Inn is a hotel with a restaurant and lobby bar across the street from the primary buildings. It first opened for visitors in 1905 and in 1986, as part of the Roycroft Campus, became a National Historic Landmark. A nine year restoration was completed in 1995, with funding from the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation; the total cost was $8 million. At that time, the facility re-opened. The Salon area contains restored murals by Roycroft artist Alexis Jean Fournier.
- Jerome Connor (Jerome Connor) Sculptor of Elbert Hubbard statue, North Wind on the Roycroft Chapel and others.
- William Wallace Denslow (W.W. Denslow) illustrated The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and had a distinctive Roycroft-inspired "logo".
Alexis Jean Fournier
- Alexis Jean Fournier (Alexis Jean Fournier) American painter, including 20 murals at the Roycroft Inn.
- William Joseph "Dard" Hunter was an American authority on making paper by hand, as well as printing using handmade type. He published a number of books on traditional, pre-industrial, techniques for making paper.
- Annie Roycroft (2 May 1926-11 January 2019), was Ireland’s first female newspaper editor, working for the County Down Spectator.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
- "Roycroft Campus". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-18. Archived from the original on 2009-09-11.
- Publications, Volume 24. Buffalo, NY: Buffalo Historical Society. 1920. p. 384.
- "Elbert Hubbard - The Man". Roycroft.org. Archived from the original on July 29, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
- ""Roycroft Campus", July 1985, by Carolyn Pitts (National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination)" (pdf). National Park Service. July 1985.
- "Roycroft Campus--Accompanying 3 photos, exterior, from 1973. (National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination)" (pdf). National Park Service. July 1985.
- https://roycroftinn.com/our-history/, Our History
- Beyer, Rachael A. (2013-06-21). "'You must make it the fashion:' selling utopia in Roycroft and Arden, 1895-1915". Iowa State University Digital Repository. OCLC 880379261. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
- Cathers, David M. (1981) Furniture of the American Arts and Crafts Movement: Stickley and Roycroft Mission Oak New American Library, New York, ISBN 0-453-00397-4
- Champney, Freeman (1968) Art & glory; the story of Elbert Hubbard Crown Publishers, New York, OCLC 274494
- Hamilton, Charles Franklin (1973) As Bees in Honey Drown: Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters A.S. Barnes, South Brunswick, ISBN 0-498-01052-X
- Rust, Robert et al. (2000) The Roycroft Campus (Images of America series) Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC, ISBN 0-7524-1344-9
- Turgeon, Kitty and Rust, Robert (1998) The Arts and Crafts Home Friedman/Fairfax Publishers, New York, ISBN 1-56799-455-5
- Via, Marie and Searl, Marjorie (eds.) (1994) Head, Heart, and Hand: Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters University of Rochester Press, Rochester, N.Y., ISBN 1-878822-43-8
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Roycroft.|
- Roycroft Organization
- Roycroft Inn, East Aurora
- Roycroft shop marks and related historical furniture maker details
- The Roycroft Community 1894-1938 by Hilary Davis
- The Arts & Crafts Movement: People: Elbert Hubbard
- The Roycroft Campus
- Roycrofters At Large Association
- The Winterthur Library Overview of an archival collection on the Roycrofters
- Roycrofters Collection: Books published at the Roycrofter colony founded by Elbert Hubbard, (97 items). From the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress
- Furniture Items from the 1906 Roycroft Catalog