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Our Objectives

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  • To preserve, document, and understand the artifacts and ideals of the Arts & Crafts Movement.

  • To accomplish these objectives, the society encourages study groups in such areas as architecture, ceramics, glass, furniture, books, and other topics.

  • Support conferences, seminars, publications and exhibitions relating to the Arts & Crafts Movement.

  • Sponsor research and publication of Arts and Crafts material.

How We Got Here: Our History

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How We Got Here: Our History

by Cleota Reed

(a longer version of this history was presented at the ACSCNY 2017 annual meeting)

In 1976, a group of Syracuse architects and historians, organized IDEA (the Institute for the Development of Evolutive Architecture) as a not-for-profit corporation. IDEA sponsored worthwhile research projects pertaining to architecture and its related arts. In 1978, IDEA ‘s Ward Wellington Ward exhibition, The Arts & Craft Ideal: an Architect and his Craftsman curated by Cleota Reed, with its accompanying catalog, opened at the Everson Museum. It was funded by the New York State Council on the Arts and toured for the next two years to six other New York museums under the auspices of the Gallery Association of New York State.

In 1980, IDEA sponsored its next Everson exhibition, funded by the Council, about the Syracuse architect Archimedes Russell, curated by J. Bradley Benson. Syracuse University Press published the book by Evamarie Hardin Archimedes Russell, Upstate Architect to accompany the exhibition. In 1980, IDEA won another grant from the Council to make a preliminary study conducted by Cleota of the Henry Keck Stained Glass Studio archives. This resulted in a major exhibition in 1883, the first of its kind launched in the new museum galleries of the Onondaga Historical Society. It commemorated the gift by Stanley Worden, the studio’s designer, of the archives, the single largest collection of a 20th century American regional stained-glass studio’s drawings, cartoons, and papers, to the Society.  In 1984, Syracuse University Press published the companion book, Henry Keck Stained Glass Studio 1913-1974, edited by Cleota, and funded by both the New York State Councils of the Arts and the Humanities. The Humanities Council also funded a video tape produced by Gail Wiltshire, to accompany the exhibition, Reflections of a Stained Glass Artist: Stanley Worden of the Keck Studio.

So,  . . . five years after the 1978 Ward exhibition,  several Ward house owners organized Ward House Associates. IDEA took on the project as an umbrella organization.  By this time, the Ward group had become IDEA’s raison détre. It soon became clear that Ward Associates did not provide a base quite broad enough to accomplish its goals. In 1994, IDEA dissolved to make way for a more inclusive, broader-based organization. The Arts and Crafts Society of Central New York was then born. In a real sense, we can claim, through our predecessor organization, almost a half century of distinctive service to the cultural heritage of Central New York.

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