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Newcomb Pottery at Crab Tree Farm: Featuring the Fuldner Collection of Early Newcomb Pottery

An invitation to Crab Tree Farm, one of the premier Arts and Crafts properties in the country, is an invitation you don’t turn down! No matter how many times you visit the serene setting and marvelous collections, Crab Tree Farm never ceases to amaze. On Thursday, May 24, 2018, John Toomey, Lucy Toomey, and John Walcher attended the opening reception for Newcomb Pottery at Crab Tree Farm: Featuring the Fuldner Collection of Early Newcomb Pottery. It was a beautiful spring evening with trees in full bloom and various fowl and livestock running about the estate.

The Collections

Newcomb Pottery at Crab Tree Farm: Featuring the Fuldner Collection of Early Newcomb Pottery

John Toomey and Barbara Fuldner, photographed by Tom Gleason

Barbara and Henry Fuldner built a Newcomb collection together over the past 30 years to complement their Arts and Crafts collections, including furniture by Gustav Stickley, Barbara’s great-grandfather.

The Fuldner collection, which was on view at The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms in 2016, spans much of the life of Newcomb College, from experimental early forms to late, modern forms.

The Crab Tree Farm collection focuses on the work of Gustav Stickley as well as artwork and decorative arts by American and European makers of the period, including Newcomb Pottery.

Newcomb College

The H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College was founded in 1886 as the coordinate women’s college of Tulane University, the first women’s coordinate college in the United States. The college, which taught 100 women throughout its 45 years in New Orleans, focused on unique designs featuring Southern flora and fauna.

Both the Fuldner and Crab Tree Farm collections hold very early works considered experimental (pre-1900), early pottery (1900-1910), and even some later pieces. The influences of Arthur Wesley Dow and C.F.A. Voysey are reflected in countless examples of Newcomb Pottery and can be seen in the paintings, prints, and carpet in the exhibit.

Newcomb Pottery at Crab Tree Farm: Featuring the Fuldner Collection of Early Newcomb Pottery

Assorted pieces of Newcomb Pottery from the Fuldner and Crab Tree Farm collections

Newcomb Pottery at Crab Tree Farm: Featuring the Fuldner Collection of Early Newcomb Pottery

Gustav Stickley

Newcomb Pottery at Crab Tree Farm: Featuring the Fuldner Collection of Early Newcomb Pottery

Gustav Stickley dining table, chairs, and corner piece with Newcomb Pottery and carpet

In addition to Newcomb Pottery, the exhibit includes furniture from Gustav Stickley’s Syracuse home from both collections. The home in Syracuse is believed to be the first home in the United States with an Arts and Crafts interior.

Included in this exhibit are two corner pieces from the Fuldner collection, which were passed down through the family, as well as pieces in the collection of Crab Tree Farm.

Newcomb Pottery is a natural compliment to Gustav Stickley’s furnishings. The October 1903 issue of Gustav Stickley’s The Craftsman magazine featured an article by Irene Sargent titled “An Art Industry of the Bauys: The Pottery of Newcomb College.”

Crab Tree Farm

A former dairy farm, the Crab Tree property now consists of several buildings outfitted in the Arts and Crafts style, including a bungalow, built in 1993, based on an article by Harvey Ellis in the December 1903 issue of The Craftsman magazine titled “How to Build a Bungalow.” The “Ellis House” is the only known structure to have been built based on these drawings. Crab Tree Farm is not open to the public, but tours are offered to nonprofit groups focusing on the arts, preservation, and education.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these photographs from the exhibition, and if you have an opportunity to visit Crab Tree Farm, take it! Thank you to our friend Barbara Fuldner for generously loaning her collection, which, as she joked, leaves her home without much color. Thank you likewise to everyone at Crab Tree Farm for hosting a lovely evening and for sharing their collection.

Newcomb Pottery at Crab Tree Farm Featuring the Fuldner Collection of Early Newcomb PotteryNewcomb Pottery at Crab Tree Farm: Featuring the Fuldner Collection of Early Newcomb Pottery

Crab Tree Farm at dusk

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