Museum Of American Arts And Crafts Movement Builds On St. Pete, Florida’s, Reputation As Arts Destination – Forbes

Exterior Museum of American Arts and Crafts Movement in St. Petersburg, FL.

©MAACM Joe Brennan | Brennan Photo + Video

An investment must be continually supported to fulfill its ultimate potential. Early in the 2000s, St. Petersburg, Florida, began ma…….

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Exterior Museum of American Arts and Crafts Movement in St. Petersburg, FL.

©MAACM Joe Brennan | Brennan Photo + Video

An investment must be continually supported to fulfill its ultimate potential. Early in the 2000s, St. Petersburg, Florida, began making a major investment in the arts. That investment has seen the Gulf Coast neighbor of Tampa quickly evolve from a sleepy haven for budget-conscious retirees into one of the most vibrant, livable mid-sized cities in America with a flourishing downtown waterfront and cultural calendar.

Opened on September 7, 2021, The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement (MAACM) ups the ante in a big way on St. Peterburg’s claim as a rising national destination for the arts. Founded and funded by local businessman, philanthropist and collector Rudy Ciccarello, MAACM is the only museum dedicated to the movement which swept the country between roughly 1890 and 1930 as a reaction against the mass production of the Industrial Revolution.

The stunning 137,000-square-foot building showcases over 800 works. Furniture, pottery, tiles, metalwork, lighting, leaded glass, woodblock prints, paintings and photographs are all on display along with MAACM’s one-of-a-kind period installations including a complete wood paneled room designed by the architectural firm of Greene and Greene, a custom-tiled bathroom and boathouse floor by Grueby Faience & Tile Company, and a 600-tile mural from Rookwood Pottery. 

Objects on view are drawn the museum’s own collection and the holdings of the Two Red Roses Foundation, established by Ciccarello. Personally collected over more than three decades, the TRRF’s holdings, exceeding 2,000 objects, are considered the most important private collection of the American Arts and Crafts movement in the world and feature some of its rarest objects.

Staircase inside Museum of American Arts and Crafts Movement.

Chadd Scott

Despite the splendor of the items it houses, the museum itself leaves the strongest impression. Designed by Tampa-based architect Alberto Alfonso in collaboration with Ciccarello, the five-story building features astonishing architectural elements such as a jaw-dropping grand atrium, sky lights and a fantastical spiral staircase with hand-crafted Venetian plaster, wood, metal and stone finishes.

Against the Grain

Craftsmanship, simplicity and honesty defined the American Arts and Craft Movement which promoted functional designs, hand-crafted with quality materials. The Movement’s ethic serves as a welcome counter to our increasingly plastic, modular and disposable world.

These objects have permanence.

Gravity.

They come from someone, not something, and emit personality as a result.

Extreme attention to detail.

Stern, linear, almost Puritanical furniture contrasts with the gaiety and whimsey of decorative objects from lamps to vases.

MAACM itself reflects the ideals of the movement it honors. Visitors will find no virtual reality headsets here. No QR codes. The museum is staunchly analog, presenting its objects solemnly, without any of the razzle-dazzle, “immersive” light shows or blaring techno soundtracks which have come to define many contemporary museum displays.

Fairgrounds St. Pete

Inside Fairgrounds St. Pete.

Chadd Scott

A successful investment strategy features diversity. St. Petersburg’s investment in the arts follows this principle. The city has art museums dedicated variously to Western and wildlife art, Salvador Dalí and glass art. Its encyclopedic Museum of Fine Arts has a renowned collection of antiquities.

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Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/chaddscott/2021/11/15/museum-of-american-arts-and-crafts-movement-builds-on-st-pete-floridas-reputation-as-arts-destination/

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