The world’s first museum of arts and crafts opens in St. Petersburg

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The world’s first museum for the arts and crafts movement has now opened in St. Petersburg.

“The museum is home to the Two Red Roses Foundation’s collection, which comprised around 2,000 objects, and we currently have 800 objects on display,” explains Andrea Morgan, director of the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.

The 137,000-square-foot museum has five floors with exhibits ranging from furniture to ceramics to lighting. It was designed to pay homage to the movement by being in an open air space like a craftsman’s house.

“The American Arts and Crafts Movement was kind of a rebellion against the industrial revolution,” said Morgan. “The idea was that artists and artisans wanted to create things that are handmade and handcrafted, made from beautiful materials, and also decorative and functional.”

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The variety of objects on display offers something for everyone and the layout reflects the different handcrafted items.

The museum is organized according to collections. On the fifth floor is the furniture collection which is full of functional handcrafted pieces.

Pottery is on the fourth floor, but it extends beyond vases and dishes. There is a fully installed bathroom with nearly 1,200 glazed tiles.

On the third floor is the lighting collection with lead glass lamps, lampshades, globes, hanging chandeliers and other handcrafted lights. This floor also houses the temporary exhibitions.

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On the second floor, the visitor will find the architects’ collection, which begins with the impressive architectural elements of the building with atrium, spiral staircase and custom-made entrances in the open air.

“These are works of art that people live with, they’re not just paintings,” Morgan explained. “We have things that would be in your home … and seeing and knowing that these things are handcrafted is really special to me.”

The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement is open Tuesday through Sunday and is located at 355 4th Street North in St. Petersburg.

SHORTCUT: To learn more about the museum, exhibits, and movement, visit https://www.museumaacm.org/index.html.

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