For the first time Asheville is celebrating its Arts and Crafts heritage with a week-long series of events leading up to the 25th annual Arts And Crafts antique and crafts firms show at the Grove Park Inn. Our local downtown library, Pack Memorial, is a short walk from our Asheville bed and breakfast and features a special exhibit, “Arts and Crafts of Western North Carolina.” Frank and Ralph will be attending a panel discussion on Tuesday at the Masonic Temple, also a short walk from our Asheville B&B. The topic is “Problems and Solutions in Restoring Older Homes”. We can always use help and suggestions concerning maintaining our Asheville Inn, which was built in 1889 and changed considerably in 1907. Restoring and maintaining our Inn has always been a challenge but luckily we have great local artisans who are skilled in working on our local historic structures.
The Arts and Crafts Conference opens Friday at the Grove Park Inn and continues through Sunday. We have attended most of these conferences since purchasing the WhiteGate Inn in 1999. One of the rooms in our Asheville bed and breakfast, The Dorothy Parker Room, has always been furnished in the Arts and Crafts Style. Over the years, we have added antique pieces to this room to celebrate the Arts and Crafts movement. We acquired a real appreciation for this style of furniture when we attended our first conference in 2000. Ralph purchased a simple oak plant stand years ago at the Metrolina Flea Market in Charlotte for $50 and placed it in the Dorothy Parker Room next to the mission style bed. The same plant stand, a signed Limbert, was priced at $1250 at the conference! We have also added an antique Arts and Crafts Desk we found locally at the Antique Tobacco Barn, and a signed Bradley and Hubbard lamp, purchased at auction several years ago. A beautiful Arts and Crafts rug was purchased from a dealer at the conference to complement the existing furniture.
Arts and Crafts style was an international design movement that thrived in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries. It was a reaction against what proponents deemed the dehumanizing effect of the Industrial Revolution.
Instead of poorly made furniture burdened with impractical decorative design, architects and designers like Frank Lloyd Wright and Gustav Stickley produced simple, well-designed and constructed alternatives.
The movement was important in the development of the cultural and aesthetic identity of Asheville. The conference host, The Grove Park Inn, was built and furnished in the Arts and Crafts style in 1913. The most common and recognizable examples of the American Arts and Crafts movement in Asheville, is the bungalow-style home. Our Asheville B&B is located in the Chestnut Hills District where surrounding neighborhoods exhibit many of these homes.
The bungalow was the middle–class symbol of practical restraint, in both design and cost, and in today’s troubled economic times, it’s re-emerging as a preferred style in both new construction and refurbished home projects.
Come celebrate the Arts and Crafts Movement and we will be happy to host you in the Arts and Crafts Room at our Asheville bed and breakfast and point you in the right direction to experience everything Asheville has to offer.