Comrades in Craft: Arts and Crafts Colonies in the United States, 1894-1915


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Art History


Oscar Wilde insisted that “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing.” This dissertation investigates three American attempts to “map” a utopian society: the Arts and Crafts communities of Roycroft and Byrdcliffe in New York, and Rose Valley in Pennsylvania. Positioning them along a continuum of American socialist art, this project asserts what was politically and aesthetically radical about the communities through close formal attention to their objects and architecture. Such an approach demonstrates how a socialist aesthetics, rooted in the laboring body and a local ecology, modeled a fundamental restructuring and re-envisioning of culture, society, and the “art of living.”