Title: Magazine Pedestal Stand
Name: Magazine Pedestal Stand
Dimensions: 64 × 21 × 18 in. (162.6 × 53.3 × 45.7 cm)
Marks: Roycroft name is stamped in side.
Credit Line: Gift of David L. Shugart. In the permanent collection, Farm House Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames Iowa.
This striking Roycroft magazine stand was gifted to Dean of Agriculture Charles Curtiss by the class of 1901. The style of Roycroft Industries' furniture was heavily infl uenced by the English Arts and Crafts Movement of the time. The company employed highly skilled artisans to produce unique objects by hand, producing a rustic, medieval appearance that is distinctive to Roycroft Industries. Because Roycroft Industries did not produce the same volume or variety of furnishings as other contemporary manufacturers, examples of Roycroft antiques are rare today.
Charles Curtiss, the recipient of this magazine stand, lived in the Farm House with his family from 1897 to 1947 and served as Iowa State College’s first Dean of Agriculture for thirty years. Dean Curtiss was a key figure in the development of Iowa State College's new Agriculture Department, especially regarding its international livestock, judging team, and its agricultural engineering program. Today, Dean Curtiss is held as one of the era's most distinguished contributors to the science if agriculture.
The only known existing interior photograph of the house prior to 1910 shows this space as used by Dean Charles F. Curtiss in 1907, reflecting the tastes of a nineteenth century gentleman and college faculty member. The Iowa Agriculturalist magazine of 1907, featured the room in an article explaining the merits of a “well thought-out decorating plan for a pleasant and inviting room.”
Not pictured in the 1907 photograph, but once belonging to Dean Curtiss, is the small Roycrofters magazine pedestal presented to him by the class of 1901. It has the inscription, “1901 CFC,” as well as the Roycroft trademark symbol incised into the sides. The Roycrofters were a community of artists in East Aurora, New York, who produced some of the finest examples of Arts and Crafts decorative arts. The furniture was constructed of solid wood and held together by wooden pegs, pins and mortise and tenon joints--attributes emphasized in Roycrofters catalogs.