Celebrating Irene Sargent

Posted on March 5, 2021 by


This month we are celebrating Women’s History Month!

Today we remember historian, writer, editor, educator, and taste-make Irene Sargent (1852-1932). Sargent was one of the founders of the CNY Arts & Crafts movement and the primary mover, shaker, editor, and writer of the Craftsman Magazine for its first several years. She wrote almost the entire first three issues and thereafter contributed each issue’s lead article and was the magazine editor. Sargent contributed over 80 articles to Gustav Stickley’s magazine between 1901 and 1905. Oh yes, she also designed the layouts! Her Craftsman articles had a great influence on public appreciation of the American Arts and Crafts Movement and its aesthetic. She wrote on many subjects but her first extensive articles were about her English influences – John Ruskin and William Morris. She also wrote about Gothic Revival, textile design, medieval silver, American art pottery, and much more.

After 1905 Sargent wrote for “The Keystone,” a jewelers’ trade journal for which until 1920, she wrote more than 60 articles on a wide range of applied arts. She also contributed to “Keramic Studio,” the ceramics magazine published by her Syracuse University colleague Adelaide Alsop Robineau. Sargent had begun teaching at Syracuse University in 1895 – eventually teaching French, Italian, and courses in aesthetics, architecture, and art history. Beginning in 1908 she was named a professor of Art History, and then from 1914 also a professor of Italian literature.

In 2013 the ACSCNY published a limited edition Art Book “Irene Sargent: A Legend in Her Own Time” by Cleota Reed and beautifully designed, printed and bound by the Clinker Press. We still have a limited number of copies of the book available at a special price for $60, or as a gift for every contribution to the ACSCNY of over $250. If you are interested, send us an email at artscraftscny@gmail.com.