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.


Roycroft Campus Special Guest Speaker - Constance Payne

September 15th & 16th, 2018

Constance Payne’s exquisite oil paintings and pastels are conceptualized and crafted in the tradition of 19th century Animaliers. From the onset of the support systems for her paintings and drawings to the completed work, Constance’s lifelong study and studio practices pay homage to the working methods of the most famous 19th century animal portrait painter, Rosa Bonheur, as well as the French Academy Atelier system. She spent years researching the exact pigments and mediums in Rosa Bonheur’s work in order to carry on the 19th century aesthetic that the expression of art evolves from the most exacting visual portrayal of the subject, rather than from the self expression of the artist.

During her academic studies, which culminated in a Master of Fine Art Degree from the University of Wisconsin, she gained much of her insight into the forms of the animals she loves by spending much of her time in anthropology labs studying articulated skeletons of dogs and horses.

Ms. Payne is also an accomplished equestrian. Through direct observation and countless hours in stables and barnyards, she has created many portraits for clients of their beloved mounts, including Thoroughbreds and Warmbloods. Through visiting many logging farms and state fairs to sketch and model in clay, she has developed a particular respect and fondness for the draft breeds.

Since 1985 Constance Payne has enjoyed 8 national solo exhibitions which were sold out, and has been included in more than 20 group shows throughout the United States. Her commission work and animal paintings hang in hundreds of public and private collections all over the world, including four public museums. In 2004, Ms. Payne won the national competition to paint “The Four Seasons” murals in the restored Roycroft Inn, following in the style of Alexis Fournier. An expert on the methods and life of Rosa Bonheur, she has been invited to lecture worldwide, and has been featured in numerous publications.

After 28 years as an associate professor of Fine Art in Painting and Drawing at a university in NY, Constance has retired from academic life and currently works out of her Wisconsin studios. She continues working on limited private commissions as well as paintings and sculpture for an exhibition at Meibohm Fine Art, September 14 - October 13, 2018.

New Work: Hounds, Horses and Masters of the Past by Constance Payne - Saturday, September 15th at 10am in the Roycroft Power House

Through years of research and travel, Constance Payne has edited down in this hour presentation, the guiding principles which will enable you to decipher “Is it art, or is it Memorex?” If your desire is to paint the form and character of dogs, horses and the natural world or if you want to expand your understanding of what attributes separate a true work of art from today’s commercial barrage of animal portraiture, this presentation will offer you a vision beyond the internet, social media, university education or academy pedagogy. It isn’t a yellow brick road filled with...” Lions and tigers and bears, Oh MY..”, but just doing the same work prescribed by the masters of the past.

”If a man sees right, and can draw,..Every artist should draw… although fools say it does not matter today--He needs no photograph”. A J Munnings , “The Artist Life”,1950

*Those attending are invited to walk to Meibohms and view the exhibit with Constance offering personal stories regarding specific works of art in the show.

Creating the Roycroft Murals: The Four Seasons by Constance Payne - Sunday, September 16th at 11am in the Roycroft Power House

In this presentation Constance Payne will share her stories from the conceptual onset of the project throughout the execution of the work of the Four Seasons. Entertaining tales, beginning with the acquisitions of acquiring space to create the murals and stories regarding the trials and tribulations of completing what she felt was a tribute to the vision of Alexis Fournier. This presentation will expand ones knowledge not only on the importance of commitment to historic technical materials and ideals, but will share the most important lesson she learned from the project and the ethos she holds true to this day in her own life and work.

“I consider one oil study to be more valuable than a score of photographs”. Robert Lougheed , “Follow the Sun: Robert Lougheed”.

2018 Roycroft Campus Fall History Course Coming Soon

The Roycroft Campus will once again be offering a special Roycroft History Course in the Fall of 2018. More information to follow shortly.



  • 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

  • Spring 2018 – Roycroft History Course: "Thinking Outside the Box"
    • Patrick Mahoney: Frank Lloyd Wright and a New Way of Living - Architect, Author and founding member of the Graycliff Conservancy discusses how Wright developed based upon what he imagined an American lifestyle should be, vastly different from the European standard.
    • Charles Facklam: Elbert Hubbard and a New Way of Working - We examine how Hubbard was a key to not only the Larkin Company's success but also the Frank Lloyd Wright story.
    • Linda Ulrich Hagner: Suffrage and the Roycroft Women - As the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote approaches we focus on the people, publications and art on suffrage at the Roycroft.
    • Chuck LaChiusa: Buffalo: An Ealry Modern Innovator - Creator of the award-winning Buffalo Architecture website explains the role of Buffalo as a leader in early modernism influencing other American cities and Western Europe.
    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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