The world acclaimed 26th National Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Conference is this weekend, February 22nd, 23rd & 24th and will attract Arts & Crafts antique dealers, collectors and tradesmen from all over the world to it’s extensive program of seminars, workshops and shows. Even the New Times hails it as the “most important weekend of the year for arts & crafts collectors”. But even if you aren’t a serious collector or dealer and don’t really want to pay $150 for a seminar package you can gain admission to the three selling shows for just $10 at the door. They include the Arts & Crafts Antiques Show, the Contemporary Craftsfirms Show, and the Books, Magazines & More Show. 125 exhibitors will be selling arts & crafts period furniture, pottery, and textiles as well as jewelry, metalwork and lamps. You also get to see the historic and architecturally significant Grove Park Inn. The striking intimacy between the building and its natural environment is a hallmark of the movement and the panoramic views of our mountains are worth the trip alone. People often wonder why the owner of a bed and breakfast would send her guests to see a hotel! The Grove Park Inn is more that just a hotel, though. It’s an important historical site.
Edwin Grove built the magnificent lodge in 1912 using his son-in-law, an amateur designer, as the architect and contractor. The inn is built in terrace-like sections along the mountain ridge from boulders quarried right on the property, Sunset Mountain. Distinguished guests over the years have included Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, F. Scott Fitzgerald, President Woodrow Wilson as well as President Barack Obama. The public is always free to explore the extensive grounds or watch the sunset with views of the mountains while enjoying a drink on the Sunset Terrace. Just off the beaten track you can even find an antique auto museum or a sculpture garden. The Grovewood Gallery and the associated Grovewood Studios were established on the grounds of the Grove Park Inn in 1992 and support local craftspeople with resident artists and studio tours by appointment. During the Arts & Crafts Conference there will be Open Studio Tours from 11am to 4pm on Friday and Saturday.