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Arts / Culture

American Craftsman Museum Proposed for Tampa's Curtis Hixon Park

New museum.jpg

A new museum could soon grace downtown's Curtis Hixon Park, where the Tampa Museum of Art and Glazer Children's Museum are located. The city of Tampa received a proposal today to build The American Craftsman Museum - and they're asking for taxpayer help. Lots of help.

The proposal comes from the Two Red Roses Foundation. It's based in Palm Harbor and reportedly has one of the nation's largest privately-held collections of arts and crafts. They're also asking for $1 million in city and county funding for the first three years - and half a million dollars every year after that. And they want all taxes and impact fees to be waived.

"The addition of this museum and restaurant would bring the downtown experience to the next level. The area around Curtis Hixon Park has always been envisioned as the core of arts and culture in our community, and this project would further energize our urban core and Riverwalk,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn in a prepared statement. “The Two Red Roses Foundation collection of American Arts and Crafts offers something totally unique in our area.”

According to the foundation's web site, Two Red Roses has one of the largest privately held collections of Arts & Crafts movement in America, including fine arts, furniture, metalware, pottery, and woodblock prints. Pieces from the collection have been shown at the museums throughout the United States.

Discussions of the details of the museum between the City of Tampa and the foundation are ongoing.

Here's some details of the foundation from its web site:

The Two Red Roses Foundation is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to the acquisition, restoration, and public exhibition of important examples of furniture, pottery and tiles, lighting, textiles, and fine arts from the American Arts & Crafts Movement. The Two Red Roses Foundation, through the charitable endowment of Mr. Rudy Ciccarello, has assembled a premier collection of works from the American Arts and Crafts Movement (1900-192). The Foundation’s collection of more than 1,300 pieces includes fine examples of work in every medium created by the important artists of the time. The Foundation’s Arts and Crafts collection includes rare and pristine works of furniture, pottery, ceramic tiles, metalwork, woodblocks, fine art, lighting, textiles and stained glass. The list of craftsmen, artists and companies includes Gustav Stickley, Stickley Brothers, Leopold and George Stickley, Charles Rohlfs, Byrdcliffe, Nakashima, Roycroft, Dirk Van Erp, William Grueby, Saturday Evening Girls, Rookwood, Tiffany, Newcomb College, Marblehead, Rhead, Robineau, Walrath, Overbeck, Margaret Patterson, Arthur Wesley Dow, Charles Hassam, Frank Duveneck, Edward Potthast, John Joseph Enneking, The American Craftsman Museum will be in concert with the current redevelopment of the Arts District and serve as the final piece of urban architecture that completes the Curtis Hixon/ Kiley Park assemblage. Currently the south border of Curtis Hixon Park is undefined and static. The Museum would serve as the catalyst to invigorate both parks and also act as an urban frame that defines both parks as separate outdoor rooms for the City.

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