Archival Anecdotes: Arts & Crafts
January 11, 2021
Long ago many things were made by hand. There are a wide range of handmade items on display in the Eddy County Museum from breadboxes and bloomers to cowbells and cleavers.
But are such items art? Or simply a sign of the times when resources were scarce and people resourceful.
But at what point does something stop being handmade and instead becomes a thoughtful piece of art work?
I'm not sure there is an answer for that question, especially for us 21st century digital folk. If any of us were to sit down for a moment with the intention of crafting any of the items mentioned above, I bet we'd call it art, and it would be.
Maybe that's exactly it- in order for art to be art, a person has to dedicate joyful and intentional time. Many thrive after taking time to create.
Art also requires acceptance of the final piece. Just like my dad used to say, "Art doesn't have to look perfect, it's not like it's going to end up in a museum someday."
Or maybe it will. Several pieces of locally produced art are kept at the museum, and each has its own unique sense of character.
To the right are two such works. Above is a freehand drawing done by August Haas in 1962. The original has vibrant coloration, as if it was done with color or pastel.
At left is miniature cabin constructed by Ingemund Peterson. Other items created by this woodworker are also in the museum's collection including a miniature team of horses.
It takes some courage and dedication, but a little art time can go a long way.