WCSU student’s curate an exhibition on Early American Decoration hosted by Brookfield Craft Center

Students of Western Connecticut State University are collaborating with the Connecticut chapter of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration (HSEAD) to bring a collection of reproduced hand decorated American objects demonstrating the early American art techniques popular in the 18th and early 19th century.

Gold leaf and free hand bronze techniques, country painting along with theorems, decorative trays, boxes and furniture, will all be on display at the Brookfield Craft Center who will host the exhibition. Western Connecticut State University has worked with the Brookfield non-profit organization for two years, allowing the students to curate exhibitions under the supervision of Melissa Ralston-Jones, a curator and instructor at the college. The class teaches about curation techniques through hands-on work which includes the selection, arrangement and installation of artwork.

The Historical Society of Early American Decoration (HSEAD) currently has its headquarters at the Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown, NY; the Society is in the process of relocating to Schenectady, NY later this year.  Eleven local chapters are active throughout the northeast. HSEAD provides awards in craftsmanship and is committed to the research of original decorative art and maintaining the lending collection of early American original designs and objects.  Their earlier extensive collection of original paint decorated artifacts was given to the American Folk-Art Museum in New York City in 1991. Practicing guild artists conduct education programs, research and exhibitions to educate and expand the unique techniques seen in early American decoration.  Their journal, The Decorator, has been published since HSEAD's founding in 1946.

Brookfield Craft Center will exhibit the work of Mary Avery, Norwich, CT, who will showcase her skills in gold leaf and display an impressive tall case clock dial; Virginia O'Brien, Hampton CT, will include primitive portraits and limners; Sandra Cohen, Southboro, MA, will display pieces from her collection, reverse glass and Pontypool items painted by HSEAD members, Anne Dimock  of Trumansburg, NY and Sarah Drewry, Marblehead, MA; Valerie B. Oliver, Ashford, CT, and Sandra Strong, Windsor, CT, will include as assortment of decorative boxes, trays, theorems,  frakturs and papercut.

The exhibition opens Saturday April 6th with a reception, which is free and open to the public from 5:00pm to 7:00pm in the Lynn Tendler Bignell Gallery in the Brookfield Craft Center.  The show will run until April 28th.  Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday 12:00 – 5:00 pm, Saturday 11:00 – 5:00pm, Sunday 12:00 – 4:00pm. For more information visit the Brookfield Craft Center web site:  www.brookfieldcraft.org or call (203) 775-4526.



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