Roycroft History Course

Inspired by Elbert Hubbard’s own belief in stimulating his workers with lectures, the Roycroft is excited to bring back speakers to the Campus.

2018 Roycroft Campus Spring History Course

The Roycroft Campus will once again be offering a special Roycroft History Course in the Spring of 2018. This semester’s theme will be Thinking Outside the Box. We will take a closer look at different individuals from the turn of the 19th – 20th century and how their radical thinking towards where and how we live, would affect life in America even to this day. A different guest speaker will be leading each class, which takes place Thursday evenings starting April 12th at 7:00pm in the Roycroft Power House. The sessions include:

Frank Lloyd Wright and a New Way of Living by Patrick Mahoney - Thursday, April 12th at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House

At the turn of the nineteenth century, Frank Lloyd Wright developed a home based upon what he imagined an American lifestyle should be. In order to do this he not only needed to create a new type of home design, but he needed to find a new client as the traditional client was generally more interested in European models. When those clients disappeared during a great depression he reinvented the home a second time as well as found other non-traditional clients to perpetuate his vision of an American architecture.

Patrick J. Mahoney is a licensed architect and associate in the Amherst, NY based firm of Lauer-Manguso & Associates, and holds a Master of Architecture degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 1997, Mr. Mahoney was a founding member of the Graycliff Conservancy. He is currently Vice-President of the Conservancy and Chaired the design committee that oversees the restoration of the estate. Mr. Mahoney is also a past director of the Board of the Western New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and A member of the Village of East Aurora’s Historic Preservation Commission. Mahoney was the recipient of the 2006 American Institute of Architects Distinguished Service Award for Community Service in Western New York. Mahoney also serves on the board of director’s of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. He has written two books Frank Lloyd Wright’s Walter V. Davidson House: An Examination of a Buffalo Home and It’s Cousins from Coast to Coast and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Scholarly Clients: William and Mary Heath. He has written numerous articles on Wright’s history in Western New York and has contributed to over a dozen other books regarding Wright.

Elbert Hubbard and a New Way of Working by Charles Facklam – Thursday, April 26th at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House

This presentation examines how Elbert Hubbard was the key to not only the Larkin Company’s success but also the Frank Lloyd Wright story. As the chief architect of the early Larkin Company, Hubbard imbedded his philosophy into the company that lived on after his departure. This philosophy was the force guiding both Darwin Martin and William Heath, the primary administrators for Larkin company, as they went on their quest to find a “utopian “design for their new administration building. This scenario provided Frank Lloyd Wright, a then struggling young architect the perfect situation to launch his career. The ability of Wright to provide a structure that fulfilled the needs of the Hubbard philosophies, gave Martin confidence to allow Wright complete freedom to design Martin’s new home, the now famous Darwin Martin house and his summer home, the Grey Cliff estate. The emphasis is on how the effects of Hubbard’s beliefs helped bring all of these “pieces” together and had a last effect on Western New York history.

Suffrage and the Roycroft Women by Linda Ulrich Hagner– Thursday, May 3rd at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House

The women of the Roycroft played a significant role on the issues and impact on suffrage. New York women got the right to vote in 1917 and our US constitution granted all women that right in 1920, so nearing this 100 year anniversary we will highlight the people, the publications and the art on suffrage at the Roycroft. As Alice Moore would say, "The world can only be redeemed through action - movement - motion. Uncoerced, unbribed, and unbought, humanity will move toward the light."

Linda Ulrich-Hagner lives in East Aurora, is a trustee of the Aurora Historical Society and a volunteer at Forest Lawn Cemetery. From September to June you will find her at the Roycroft Inn most every Tuesday at lunchtime as a docent. She was a contributing writer to the 2010 PBS/WNED Elbert Hubbard: An American Original Educator's Guide. She served as an East Aurora field session co-chair during the WNY National Preservation Trust Conference in 2011. The Ulrich-Hagner family spends their summers at their home in the Chautauqua Institution. Linda first gave this presentation in February 2018 for the annual Arts and Crafts Conference in Asheville, NC.

Buffalo: An Early Modern Powerhouse by Chuck LaChiusa – Thursday, May 10th at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House

The role of Buffalo as a leader in early modernism at the turn of the 20th century is under appreciated. Buffalo’s developments in electricity, grain elevators, prairie houses, and daylight factory style architecture greatly influenced other American cities and even Western Europe. Take a journey with us as we explore how the architectural treasures of Buffalo has been an inspiration over the last one hundred years.

Chuck LaChiusa is the creator of the Buffalo Architecture and History Internet site ( which includes thousands of his photographs. The website has received numerous awards including from the City of Buffalo Preservation Board in 2002, the Buffalo History Museum in 2010, and The American Institute of Architects, Western New York Chapter in 2012, and the 2017 Tourism Volunteer of the Year Award by Visit Buffalo Niagara. He was the photographer for the 2006 book entitled Oakland Place:  Gracious Living in Buffalo. Mr. LaChiusa has been a trustee for Preservation Buffalo Niagara and is the Board of Directors President for Explore Buffalo. He frequently conducts tours and gives presentations about Buffalo's historic architecture throughout the region.



  • This course will be held on the Roycroft Campus in the Roycroft Power House, 39 South Grove in East Aurora, NY 14052 (unless when otherwise stated).


  • Registration for the Fall 2017 Roycroft History Course is $25 for the general public and $10 to all RCC members. To purchase individual tickets please click here. You will be able to register online through our website or by calling the Roycroft Campus at 716.655.0261.
  • All proceeds support

Past Lectures

  • Fall 2017 – Roycroft History Course: "Creating and Collecting Roycroft"
    • Ben Little: Herb Buffum and the Roycroft Cabinet Shop - Herb Buffum was the Superintendent of the Roycroft Cabinet Shop in the early 1900's. In first person, Ben/Herb brings the cabinet shop and the life of the Roycrofters alive with stories and facts about life on the campus.
    • Robert Rust: Collecting Roycroft - Exhibitions and Museums of Roycrofterie 1968-2017 - Author and A&C Historian, Robert Rust will focus on the earliest know museum exhibit from 1968 through the opening of two major museums with Roycroft in there collections, one in Florida and one in Colorado.
    • Alan Nowicki: Dard Hunter - The Roycroft Years - Dard Hunter's distinctive typography and elegant compositions would have a huge impact on not only the Roycroft, but Arts and Crafts style in general, becoming one of the most influential graphic artists of the early 20th century.
    • Douglas McFarland: The History of the Roycroft Copper Shop - A presentation on the evolution of metal work at the Roycroft, including the history of the Copper Shop and the men who were the leading contributors, Victor Toothacker, Karl Kipp and Walter Jennings.
    Spring 2017 – Roycroft History Course: "Elbert Hubbard's Buffalo"
    • Alan Nowicki: Elbert Hubbard the Early Years - Campus Program Director takes a look at Elbert Hubbard's family tree, his school life, early interests, hobbies and family connections which may have influenced his creation of the Roycroft Campus.
    • Christine Campbell: How Elbert Hubbard Helped To Create The Larkin Idea - We examine Hubbard’s role in creating the Larkin Idea and how this idea improved the lives of not only the Larkin employees but also the lives of the citizens of Buffalo.
    • Brad Hahn: Elbert Hubbard's Buffalo - Then & Now - Elbert Hubbard arrived in Buffalo in 1881 at the height of the Gilded Age. Buffalo was the eighth largest city in America, and attracted the finest architects and designers which we explore.
    • Mark W. Warren: Theodore Roosevelt and Buffalo:  A Book Connection Discovered - The story of a historic book bound for Theodore Roosevelt by a former Roycrofter, once lost to history, was recently rediscovered.
  • Fall 2016 – Roycroft History Course:
    • Robert Lowell Goller: A Tempest in a Village Teapot - Aurora Town Historian examines Elbert Hubbard's love-hate relationship with the Village of East Aurora with an emphasis on Elbert's "politics".
    • Mike Danial: Stickley and he Arts & Crafts Movement - Stickley historian will give a history of the Stickley brothers and their four respective factories, as well as the saving of the company by the current owners.
    • Elizabeth Garber: The Life of Miriam Elberta Hubbard - Elizabeth Garber, Miriam's granddaughter, will explore what Miriam's life was like as a young child, her youth at the Roycroft Campus, and what happened when she was suddenly orphaned at age 21. 
    • Robert Rust: The Other Artists on the Roycroft Campus 1895-1945 - Author and A&C Historian will uncover many of the lesser known artists that worked at the Roycroft including painters Samuel Warner, Sandor Landeau, Sadakichi Hartmann,Lillian Bonham, Merle James, Eleanor Douglass, Lawerence Mazzanovich, Robert Blair and metalsmith Rixford Jennings.
    • August 2016 – Clive Wilmer: Master of the Guild of St George and an Emeritus Fellow in English at Sidney Sussex College, who has spent over 40 years studying the contributions of John Ruskin and William Morris
    • Spring 2016 – Roycroft History Course: Four sessions led by Art history adjunct professor and Campus Program Director Alan Nowicki and Aurora Town Historian Robert Lowell Goller which included: Arts & Crafts 101, Who Were the Roycrofters, Elbert Hubbard and East Aurora, and The Roycroft Press.
    • November 2015 – Francis Kowsky: Author presented on Frederick Law Olmsted and his creation of the Buffalo Park system. 
    • September 2015 – Female Artist Panel: A panel of regional female artists featuring Kateri Ewing, Alix Martin, Grace Meibohm and Sharon Zaremski discussed their art, their process and their role in the art world.
    • July 2015 – Timothy P. Schmalz: International large-scale sculptor who's currently working on a piece for the Roycroft Campus.
    • May 2015 – Robert Lowell Goller: Aurora Town Historian and Aurora Historical Society Director Robert Lowell Goller will discussed the impact of the Lusitania tragedy on the Roycroft movement and the East Aurora community.
    • March 2015 – Grant Hamilton: Owner and publisher of multiple newspapers and family connections to the Roycroft Campus.
    • November 2014 – Judith Miller: One of the world’s leading experts in the field of antiques, international best-selling author, and creator of The Antiques Roadshow.
    • October 2014 – RALA Master Artisan Panel: Roycroft Renaissance Master Artisans from a variety of media discuss their art and the future of the Arts and Crafts movement.
    • September 2014 - Charlie Clough: International artist and co-founders of Hallwalls Center for Contemporary Art in Buffalo.
    • August 2014 - Constance Payne: American artist and expert on the life of Rosa Bonheur returns to the Campus to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 4 Seasons murals she painted in the Roycroft Inn.
    • May 2014 - Kitty Turgeon: one of the Founders of the Roycrofters At-Large Association and Executive Director of the Foundation for the Study of the Arts & Crafts.
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