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Arts & Culture
With our partner, The Connecticut Historical Society, WNPR News presents unique and eclectic view of life in Connecticut throughout its history. The Connecticut Historical Society is a partner in Connecticut History Online (CHO) — a digital collection of over 18,000 digital primary sources, together with associated interpretive and educational material. The CHO partner and contributing organizations represent three major communities — libraries, museums, and historical societies — who preserve and make accessible historical collections within the state of Connecticut.

A Tradition of Craft

The newest exhibition at the Connecticut Historical Society brings together craftspeople from across the country, from New England, New York, and Pennsylvania to as far away as Missouri, New Mexico, and California. A Tradition of Craft: Current Works by the Society of American Period Furniture Makers features selected furniture created by today’s members of SAPFM displayed alongside authentic 18th- and 19th-century furniture from the CHS collection. It’s a unique opportunity to admire the skill and passion of woodworkers from both the past and the present.

These “present” woodworkers include professional furniture makers and serious hobbyists, all of whom share a common passion for building furniture. These people make furniture for a number of reasons, including the challenge of replicating fine craftsmanship, a way to understand the past, and an admiration for traditional skills.                                        

John Rexroad, who owns a manufacturing company and lives on a farm in Killingworth, CT, feeds his passion for history, art, and antiques by creating furniture and collecting woodworking tools. “I look at fine woodworking as a passing of the torch from prior masters to current masters. I appreciate all of the current masters that have openly passed on their knowledge to me and others.” Rexroad’s reproduction of a Chapin side chair is on display in the exhibition.

Freddy Roman lived in Hartford and now owns his own fine furniture business in Littleton, MA. His Seymour chest is also on display. “This exhibit is very special to me, for it shows how far I have come as a student of the craft. As a young man in Hartford, I never would have imagined I would be in this position, sharing the stage with so many amazing craftsmen.”

Don’t miss this unique pairing of old and new.  You will be inspired by the stories behind these men and women who love and practice traditional craftsmanship. A Tradition of Craft runs March 30 – September 8, 2012 at the Connecticut Historical Society, One Elizabeth Street, Hartford, CT 06105.  For more information, go to http://www.chs.org/page.php?id=512#tradition

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