Elbert Green Hubbard (1856 – 1915) American furniture designer

Elbert Green Hubbard black and white picture
Elbert Green Hubbard black and white picture

Elbert Green Hubbard (1856 – 1915) was an American furniture designer. Hubbard met William Morris in 1894 and the following year inspired by Morris’s Kelmscott Press, founded the Roycroft Press’ East Aurora, near Buffalo, New York. He was the founder of the Roycrofters, an Arts and Crafts community; he organized workshops, lectured, and wrote as a highly effective champion of the Arts and Crafts philosophy.

Religious Beliefs

Hubbard identified as a socialist and anarchist. He was an advocate for social, economic, domestic, political, mental, and spiritual liberty. In A Message to Garcia and Thirteen Other Things (1901), Hubbard explained his Credo by writing “I believe John Ruskin, William Morris, Henry Thoreau, Walt Whitman and Leo Tolstoy to be Prophets of God, and they should rank in mental reach and spiritual insight with Elijah, Hosea, Ezekiel and Isaiah.” Nonetheless, with his pro-business and anti-union sentiments, frequent themes across his works suggest he had strong capitalist sentiments.

In the booklet Jesus Was An Anarchist, Hubbard addressed a critique of war, law, and government (1910). Ernest Howard Crosby called Hubbard’s piece “the best thing Elbert ever wrote” when it was first published as The Better Part in A Message to Garcia and Thirteen Other Things.

“Do not take life too seriously; you will never get out of it alive.”

Elbert Hubbard

Roycroft community

In 1894, Hubbard began his quest to become an American counterpart to William Morris. Hubbard purchased a property in the centre of the rural town of East Aurora, a few kilometres east of Buffalo, New York and created Roycroft. There were more than 400 people in the utopian Roycroft community, based on the British Arts and Crafts movement, but with a commercial slant of its own.

There are two theories on his name choice. The word “roycroft” comes from the French words for craft and “roi’ of king. Literally, it would refer to royal artisans whose handiwork was fit for a King. Other historians believe Hubbard chose the name to honour 17th century printers Samuel and Thomas Roycroft. The fact that his first endeavour was publishing supports this theory.

The Roycrofters operated a restaurant which served the-many tourists who discovered its activities through its publications (Little Journey’s pamphlets, The Philistine monthly journal, and mail-order catalogues advertising gift items and souvenirs). His son Elbert Hubbard Jr. became director of the Roycrofters until the community closed in 1938.

Antique embossed 3-piece mixed products
Antique embossed 3-piece mixed products
Mahogany Cellarette made at Roycroft
Mahogany Cellarette made at Roycroft

Death

The Hubbards boarded the RMS Lusitania in New York City a little more than three years after the Titanic sank. The ship was torpedoed and sunk by the German U-boat U-20 on May 7, 1915, while at sea 11 miles (18 kilometres) off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, April 13). Elbert Hubbard. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04:19, May 28, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Elbert_Hubbard&oldid=1017643362

More American Designers

  • Jukebox Design by Wurlitzer iconic Americana

    Jukebox Design by Wurlitzer iconic Americana

    Jukebox Designs by Wurlitzer were celebrated for the iconic designs adopting “bubble tubes”, coloured filters and plastics. READ MORERead More →

  • Marc Harrison (1936 – 1998) American Industrial designer

    Marc Harrison (1936 – 1998) American Industrial designer

    Marc Harrison (1936-1998) was an industrial designer from the United States. Harrison sustained a significant brain injury in a sledding accident when he was eleven years old. He had to relearn simple functions like walking and talking as a result of the crash. Harrison gained experience and motivation for his future work as an industrial…

  • Charles Eames (1907 – 1978) American designer, filmmaker and architect

    Charles Eames (1907 – 1978) American designer, filmmaker and architect

    Charles Eames and his Wife, Ray best known for their contributions to architecture and furniture design, industrial design. READ MORERead More →

  • Modern Americana (Hardcover)

    Modern Americana (Hardcover)

    Do-it-yourself dรฉcor inspired by iconic patterns, classic fabrics, sentimental items, and the Americana style.Read More →

  • George Nelson (1907 – 1986) American voice on design

    George Nelson (1907 – 1986) American voice on design

    George Nelson (1907 – 1986) was an American industrial designer. His Storagewall shelf system, which he made in 1945, changed the way offices worked. The Marshmallow sofa from the 1950s is one of his best-known pieces.Read More →

  • Peter Shire (b.1947) American artist and designer

    Peter Shire (b.1947) American artist and designer

    Shire was invited to join Ettore Sottsass’s Memphis project in 1981. He produced quirky, geometrically oriented furniture in Pop Art huRead More →

  • Alessi Kettle 9093 (Design Classic) by Michael Graves

    Alessi Kettle 9093 (Design Classic) by Michael Graves

    A beautiful little bird adorns the spout of this kettle and whistles when contents boilRead More →

  • Walter Landor (1913 – 1995) Leader in Corporate Identity

    Walter Landor (1913 – 1995) Leader in Corporate Identity

    Walter Landor (1913 – 1995) was a leading expert in corporate identity and brand design. His clients included Coca-Cola, Fuji Films, Philip Morris, and the World Wildlife Fund. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has dedicated a collection to him.Read More →

  • Herbert Bayer (1900 – 1985) American multi-disciplined designer

    Herbert Bayer (1900 – 1985) American multi-disciplined designer

    Herbert Bayer was one of the Bauhaus’s most influential students, teachers, and proponents. Most of Bayer’s photographs come from the decade 1928โ€“38, when he was based in Berlin working as a commercial artist. He designed the show Road to Victory (1942), which would set the course for Steichen’s influential approach to photography.Read More →

  • William Dwiggins (1880 -1956) – Typographer and Design all-rounder

    William Dwiggins (1880 -1956) – Typographer and Design all-rounder

    Dwiggins was known for his “Metro” series of typefaces, the first designed specifically for newspaper headlines. He produced that in 1929 when he won the gold medal of the American Institute of Graphic Arts.Read More →

  • Keith Haring Artwork (1958 – 1990)  – art that danced

    Keith Haring Artwork (1958 – 1990) – art that danced

    Keith Haring was best known for his graffiti-like painting, initially on the black paper used to cover discontinued billboard advertisements in the New York subway. After after a feverish 1980’s style career of surging popular success and grudging critical attention, Haring died of AIDS in 1991 at the age of 31.Read More →

  • Douglas Kelley ( b.1928 ) American Industrial Designer

    Douglas Kelley ( b.1928 ) American Industrial Designer

    Douglas Kelley (born 1928) is an American industrial designer best known for creating the T-chair and the Elna Lotus sewing machine.Read More →

  • Henry Dreyfuss: Pioneering Industrial Design for People and Function

    Henry Dreyfuss: Pioneering Industrial Design for People and Function

    Henry Dreyfuss, a pioneer of industrial design, revolutionized the field with his focus on designing for people and integrating ergonomic principles. His iconic designs, such as the Bell 300 telephone, transformed industries ranging from aviation to household appliances. Dreyfuss’s emphasis on functionality and user experience continues to shape modern design practices, making him a lasting…

  • Frederick Hurten Rhead (1880 – 1942) British Ceramicist

    Frederick Hurten Rhead (1880 – 1942) British Ceramicist

    Frederick Hurten Rhead was an English-born American potter and ceramic artist. He was born into a family of potters and designers. He received his English pottery training before moving to the United States in 1902. Read More →

  • Lester Beall: A Pioneer in Advertising Design and Corporate Identity Systems

    Lester Beall: A Pioneer in Advertising Design and Corporate Identity Systems

    Lester Beall, a renowned graphic designer, was born in Kansas City in 1903 and left an indelible mark on the industry. He studied engineering and art history at the University of Chicago. Beall’s unconventional style, influenced by European artistic developments, was evident in his poster series for the Rural Electrification Administration. He was the first…

  • Gustav Stickley (1858 – 1942)  American furniture designer

    Gustav Stickley (1858 – 1942) American furniture designer

    His German name, Stoeckel, was anglicised to Stickley by his รฉmigrรฉ parents. In Pennsylvania, he worked in his uncle’s chair manufacturing with his brothers. Stickley brothers Gustav, Charles, Albert, Leopold, and John George all worked in the furniture industry.Read More →

  • Johanna Grawunder: Illuminating Spaces with Light and Color

    Johanna Grawunder: Illuminating Spaces with Light and Color

    Johanna Grawunder is a renowned artist and designer known for her innovative use of light and color in installations. Born in San Diego, Grawunder’s work blurs the boundaries between art, design, and architecture, incorporating neon and LED lights to create immersive experiences. With clean lines and geometric forms, her installations captivate viewers by transforming spaces…

  • Philco famous ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ American electronics firm

    Philco famous ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ American electronics firm

    Philco was founded in Philadelphia in 1892. In 1929, using assembly-line techniques, the firm produced the first truly low-priced radios. The firm became a leading manufacturer of audio products, adding domestic stoves, refrigerators, air conditioners, and other appliances to its line. In the 1950s, it produced a series of television set housings in historicist cabinets…

  • Saul Bass’s (1920 – 1996 ) opening and closing titles

    Saul Bass’s (1920 – 1996 ) opening and closing titles

    When the Frank Sinatra film on drug addiction “The Man With The Golden Arm” opened, a Saul Bass poster dominated the cinema billboards. No words, only artwork- a jagged arm.Read More →

  • Albert Paley (b.1944) American modernist metal sculptor

    Albert Paley (b.1944) American modernist metal sculptor

    Albert Paley (born 1944) is an American modernist metal sculptor. Starting as a jeweller, he has evolved into one of the worldโ€™s most renowned and famous metalsmiths. Furniture, gates, railings, and staircases are among his creations. He consults with architects and space planners, and he leads a team of craftspeople in his Rochester, New York,…

You may also be interested in

William Morris – beauty of practicality – Encyclopedia of Design

Born March 24, 1834 “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or beautiful.” That was the rallying call of the nineteenth-century designer, William Morris, a British designer and social reformer. He aimed to rid the world of shoddy mass-produced goods and replace them with objects that were designed and made by artists.

A short history of wallpaper – Encyclopedia of Design

Before 1840, nearly all the world’s wallpaper came from France, where it was hand-printed, using blocks and sheets of paper to produce a limited line of patterns. Making wallpaper by hand was a costly process, and only the very wealthy could afford to buy it.

Dakota Jackson American furniture designer – Encyclopedia of Design

Dakota Jackson is an American furniture designer best known for his Dakota Jackson furniture line. He was a magician’s son, and by the time he was six, he became a professional magician. He performed in public until his early 20s.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.