William Lightfoot Price (1861–1916), a Philadelphia architect, had a deep interest in social and design reform. That interest prompted him to found Rose Valley as an experimental Arts & Crafts community in 1901, based on William Morris’s utopian novel, News from Nowhere. Rose Valley Shops opened in 1901 to make furniture, the principal craft. Later, a ceramics shop opened, and The Rose Valley Press printed a monthly, The Artsman. As an architect, Price’s main concern was structure. Structure governed Gothic furniture made during the medieval period, and it governed Price’s furniture. For that reason, this thesis traces the history of Gothic furniture and of the Arts & Crafts Movement in England and America, leading to the founding of Rose Valley. It includes Price’s biographical notes, and it discusses Rose Valley history, architecture, culture, shops, and furniture in museum and in private collections. Although furniture production ceased in 1906 after only five years, Rose Valley remains today, a vibrant residential Philadelphia suburb. This thesis argues that the Rose Valley community and the quality and distinctiveness of its furniture distinguish it as an important American Arts & Crafts center.
|Advisor:||Fitzgerald, Oscar P.|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Decorative Arts & Design History|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||MAI 81/2(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Art history, Architecture, Social research, American studies|
|Keywords:||American arts & crafts, Arts & crafts furniture, Gothic furniture, Rose Valley, Utopian community, Price, William|
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