Educational Seminars

For as long as there have been pegged joints and matte green glazes, there have been educational seminars designed for Arts and Crafts collectors. Early Arts and Crafts societies in cities such as Boston, Chicago, and New York gathered to hear speakers reveal the evils of the Industrial Revolution and applaud the virtues of the simple life, one lived among handcrafted furnishings which William Morris described as those “you know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.”

Following in that tradition, the National Arts and Crafts Conference was founded in 1988 as a three-day educational event for Arts and Crafts collectors. It was built on a foundation of seminars presented by researchers, authors, craftsmen, and scholars. Our “Arts and Crafts in August” special event will also feature educational seminars, as you have long expressed your interest in learning more about the items we collect and the artists and artisans who designed and created them more than a century ago.

We are now in the process of selecting topics and speakers for the seminars we will be offering you virtually in August and hopefully in person in February for the 35th National Arts and Crafts Conference at the Omni Grove Park Inn Resort. Please check back often as we continue to make our selections for both events

Friday, February 18th

Opening night

8:00pm – 8:15pm

Opening Remarks

by Bruce Johnson

Director, The National Arts and Crafts Conference & Shows

The director for the National Arts and Crafts Conference since the shows’ beginning in 1988, Bruce Johnson will provide the opening remarks to welcome everyone back to the National Arts and Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn.

Seminar #1

8:15pm – 9:00pm

“From Victoria to Bauhaus: The Evolution of Arts & Crafts Design”

by Andre Chaves

Andre has been an Arts and Crafts and book collector for a long time but it was the book collecting that led him into printing more than 20 years ago. Since at that time he was living in the Duncan Irwin house designed by Greene and Greene he chose the name Clinker Press since the presses were housed in the clinker brick garage. .Over the years he has printed a number of books on the Arts and Crafts Movement by both period and contemporary authors. He has an interest in the esthetic as well as in the history of printing and remains a one man shop to this day.

Seminar #2


9:00pm – 9:50pm

“The Tragic Life of Juanita Gonzales: Newcomb Pottery Visionary”

by Tom Folk

Saturday, February 19th, 2021

Morning conference seminars

Seminar #3 

9:00am – 10:00am

“Working in the Shadows: The Surprising Life of Albert Stickley”

by Jill Thomas-Clark

Seminar #4

10:00am – 11:00am

“The Dignity of Labor: African-American Connections to the Arts & Crafts Movement”

by Elaine Pinson

Elaine has a master’s degree in the History of Decorative Arts, a joint program The Smithsonian Associates and the Corcoran School of Arts & Design at The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College with a major in economics. Elaine is a member of the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, which supports the mission of the Smithsonian Institution through grantmaking.

Sunday, February 20th, 2021

Morning conference seminars

Seminar #5    

9:00am – 10:00am

“When Art and Craft Meet Technology: Rookwood in the 1920s”

by Riley Humler

Riley Humler has been a dealer and collector of American and European Art Pottery for more than 40 years. He was gallery director of Cincinnati Art Galleries, LLC and coordinated the art pottery and art glass auctions there and at Humler & Nolan for 30 years. He is now director of ceramics at Toomey & Co. Auctioneers in Chicago. He has also been an appraiser on “Antiques Roadshow” for 21 years and lectures on a regular basis about his life-long relationship with American Art Pottery, particularly Rookwood.

Seminar #6     

10:00am – 11:00am

“Notorious Women Photographers of the Arts & Crafts Movement”

by Susan Ehrens