ROSE VALLEY/ARDEN CHAIR
Although William Lightfoot Price (1861-1916) designed similar chairs for use in his Overbrook Farms home built in 1895, this chair was made later at Arden, Delaware. Sculptor Frank Stephens (1859-1953) and Architect Will Price founded Arden in 1901, the same year as Price established the famous Rose Valley Arts and Crafts community near Moylen, PA. Arden was a single-tax community based on the ideas of Henry George and William Morris.
Woodworking, weaving, blacksmithing, and potting were among the crafts produced in Arden studios. The furniture was often designed by Will Price and made by Frank’s son Don Stephens (1887-1971); it was usually simpler than the designs Price made for Rose Valley. Stephens made set of chairs identical to this chair for the dining room of his home, “Bide-a-Wee,” which he built in Arden around 1916.
“Art, Craft and the Utopian Ideal: Arden, Delaware 1900-1935” Delaware Art Museum, 2000 exhibited an identical example that descended in the Stephens family who evidently called it a “Craftsman’s” chair.