Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Hippie Christmas...

I am in Madison, Wisconsin, helping my daughter move into a new apartment. That means We will be on our hands and knees cleaning, on ladders pulling nails from walls left by the previous tenant, and patching things to give the appearance of clean and new to an apartment cleaved roughly from a lakeside mansion built with great care over 100 years ago. This week and next are "hippie Christmas," when all kinds of unwanted things are left at roadsides as students move from one apartment to another all across town. On a drive through old neighborhoods you'll find sofas, chairs, desks, furnishings of all kinds free for the taking, and you'll also see some folks in pick-up trucks driving throuh to see what they can find.

I am still reading Eileen Boris' book Art and Labor about the impact of Ruskin, Morris, and the arts and crafts movement on American culture and economy. She notes:
By the turn of the century, educators realized that "most of our pupils will be the purchasing public of the future, and it is of as much importance for them to buy intelligently as for the designer and craftsman to create intelligently."
At that time in the arts and crafts movement, Henry Turner Bailey along with others formed the Applied Arts Guild.
"Through 'love of beauty' and the 'ideal of service', he would enlist 'the pupil himself in this war against superficiality, sham and short-cut,' a campaign against slovenliness and inaccuracy in work."
Perhaps hippie Christmas speaks for itself regarding the times in which we find ourselves. Things beautifully crafted, lovingly and knowingly made would not find themselves so readily abandoned at curbside.

Make, fix and create...

3 comments:

Charlie Talbert said...

Welcome to Madison! If you have time after your apartment work is finished, you might want to check out the Sugar Maple Fest going on today (Friday) and tomorrow.http://sugarmaplefest.org/

You can buy tickets at the Willy Street Co-op, which may be close to your daughter's apartment, as you describe its location.

Charlie Talbert said...

Welcome to Madison! If you have time after your apartment work is finished, you might want to check out the Sugar Maple Fest going on today (Friday) and tomorrow.http://sugarmaplefest.org/

You can buy tickets at the Willy Street Co-op, which may be close to your daughter's apartment, as you describe its location.

Mario Núñez said...

Ah, if only this were the case these days that "...it is of as much importance for them to buy intelligently as for the designer and craftsman to create intelligently." Instead we have people buying cheap plastic junk.

Mario