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Arts of North America

Art created in North America includes objects made by native cultures of the present-day United States and Canada; paintings and decorative arts produced during colonial times; 18th- and 19th-century masterpieces; and the work of contemporary artists and photographers.

East Aurora, New York, 1894 - 1938
c. 1905–12

46 ½  x 18 ½ x 18 ¾ inches

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Museum purchase with funds provided
by the Alice Pratt Brown Museum Fund

Arts of North America

Embellished with only the name of its makers, Roycroft, this oak chair has the straightforward construction, pegged joinery, and beautiful austerity that characterize American Arts and Crafts furniture.

Founded by Elbert Hubbard in East Aurora, New York, the Roycroft was a utopian community of artists and craftspeople  The group was an important exponent of the Arts and Crafts movement in America. Its philosophy was strongly influenced by a similar movement being led by William Morris in England. As with Morris, the Roycrofters believed that art and craftsmanship could be instruments to reform society. Unusual for a reformer, Hubbard was also a good businessman and created a successful brand for the community. All Roycroft products were stamped either with the Roycroft name or its insignia: a cross and orb copied from a medieval bookbinder.