The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of New York, founded in 1785, continues to pay tribute to the art of craftsmanship, with five monthly lectures scheduled from January through May. The Artisan Lecture Series promotes the work and art of skilled craftsmen to assist in ensuring their unique knowledge is understood and carried forth for future generations. The Lecture Series is curated by General Society member, Jean Wiart, known for his many contributions to ornamental metalwork.
At her March 13 lecture Master Weaver Artisan, New York History contributor and Master Weaver Rabbit Goody, will lecture on the work of her weaving studio, Thistle Hill Weavers, a small mill modeled after the trade shops of the 19th century.
Goody has been in the weaving trade for over 35 years as a hand weaver, as a museum educator, and as a weaver and designer in her own small weaving mill. Her study of historic textiles and history of technology combine to allow her to weave reproductions using traditional methods and transitional technology.
You can see the work of Thistle Hill Weavers at many historic sites around the country, including George Washington’s Mount Vernon; Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello; The Henry Ford Museum; Harper’s Ferry National Park, Harper’s Ferry West Virginia; Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, Akron, Ohio, Rock Hall, Lawrence, NY; The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown NY; Martin Van Buren’s home in Kinderhook, NY, and Valley Forge National Historic Park, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Thistle Hill also weaves for the film industry and has been a major contributor to over 50 films including John Adams, Road to Perdition, The Narnia series, Master and Commander, Life, The Prestige, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, Beowulf and the movie Lincoln.
“The art of craftsmanship and the skill of craftsmen have always been celebrated and rewarded over the centuries,” curator Jean Wiart said. “At the General Society, we want to assure that this special mastery for creating beautiful objects will survive down through the years and continue to be rewarded and prized.”
Other artisans in the lecture series will include Miriam Ellner, Verre Eglomisé Artisan, April 10; and Gregory Muller, Master Stone Mosaic Artisan, May 8. Lectures are scheduled for 6:p.m. in The Library at 20 West 44th Street, New York City. More information can be found online.