Thursday, April 3, 2008

Disney's Grand Californian - Fake Arts & Crafts?

Arts and Crafts ideology, from the romantic beliefs of Morris and the thoughts of surrounding oneself with beautiful things to promote happiness, to the sociological considerations of the movement, can differ slightly from one person to another. During an Arts and Crafts Conference and show held at the Disney’s Grand Californian in Anaheim, California, I was talking with a representative from one of the exhibitors that handcrafts new items in the Arts and Crafts style. During the conversation, the representative examined the surroundings and exclaimed, “This place is scary.” What is scary I questioned; wondering if it was perhaps the area we were in (i.e. safety concerns)? It turned out that the hotel itself, including its design and decorative elements within it were scary because they represented “fake Arts & Crafts.” It so happened that earlier that morning I had taken a guided tour of the hotel during which the guide noted several items in and around the facilities that were commissioned from artisans that design and create in the Arts and Crafts traditions. From the lamps and large-scale iron gates that surround the hotel, to the handcrafted interior furnishings, iron poppy fire screens, and tile frieze that spans the length of the reception desk, new it is, but “fake it is not.

1 comment:

Magickwyrds said...

Isn't it funny how some people take themselves too seriously sometimes? Indeed, the Californian Grand is a beautiful example of Arts & Crafts- it would be nice to be able to experience the " real deal" more often, but to see the movement being carried on in the here and now, today- I would imagine those Craftsmen would be tickled pink to see their ideas and traditions still being produced today. What a fool to call something built today "fake" -he's missed the whole point!