Roycroft

Roycroft
4 records
Unlike most art colonies, the Roycroft community of Eastwood, New York, near Buffalo, was not led by an artist or a wealthy patron. Its founder Elbert Hubbard was a businessman devoted to the Arts and Crafts movement. While a partner at the Larkin Soap Company, he pioneered mass-marketing techniques that he later applied at the community.

After visiting William Morris’s workshops in London in 1893, Hubbard returned to America determined to establish a hand-printing enterprise like Morris’s Kelmscott Press. The Roycroft Press was immediately successful and led to the establishment of a bindery and a leather shop. Within a few years, furniture, metalwork, and stained-glass studios were added. All the goods were available through catalogues and many furnished the Roycroft Inn, where guests could stay while observing the bustling life of the community. At its height, Roycroft had more than four hundred workers.

Roycroft was a profitable enterprise; its products sold well throughout the country. Its success may well be attributed to Hubbard’s belief that “the World of Commerce is just as honorable as the World of Art and a trifle more necessary.”

- Wendy Kaplan (2005)