The new exhibition at the ACSM, Women Artists of the Ardens: 1900-1960, has so many photographs, pictures, parts, and papers, that it was hard to fit everything into the show! The displays range from pottery to poems and from greeting cards to stained glass and it all represents work done by the women artists who have graced our community. Their work shows examples of many different inspirations –nature, dance, music and so much more. The wide variety of their accomplishments present an amazing picture of the lives they lived and the community which nurtured them. We are fortunate to have the record they left for us. And equally as fortunate to live in a community still filled with practicing artists of all the artistic disciplines. We look forward to welcoming you. Remember the museum is open Wednesdays from 7:30 pm to 9 pm and Sundays from 1 pm to 3 pm.
After a busy summer season, the ACSM is gearing up for the fall. We will be open with
special hours during the Arden Fair from 11 AM until 4 PM. You will be able to see the exhibition which was done for the Afternoon With Artist event on August 13 th . The first-ever celebration of poets associated with the Ardens drew a standing room crowd and featured local poets as well as a tribute to Walt Whitman – a great favorite of many of the
early residents of Arden.
The next important date for the ACSM is Sunday, September 24th . That will be the last day the Ardentown Centennial Exhibition, as well as the annual Shakespeare display, and the tribute to Connee McKinney will be on display. The gallery will then close to get ready for our annual October Exhibition.
Mark your calendars for Sunday October 15 th for the next exhibition opening. This years' show will feature many of the women artists and artisans who have made their home in the Ardens. They have left behind a legacy of both their expertise and their love of beauty and we are all the richer for it.
Aaron Hamburger was a long time supporter and founder of the Arden Craft Shop Museum with his wife Sally who was a founding Mother of the Museum. The Hamburgers moved to Arden in 1968 and raised 3 daughters here Marjorie, Amy, and Julianne, and welcomed an exchange student from New Zeeland, Jenny Carr, who was considered family.
Aaron was very involved in the community life of Arden, specifically as the President of the Arden Club. During his years as president Aaron would be heavily involved with the Arden Fair. Enjoy these pictures of Aaron from his years of involvement with the museum, the Arden club, and other community events! Be sure to visit the Arden Craft Shop Museum during the Fair! We will be open with special hours from 11 AM until 4 PM.
We welcome our guests to a afternoon of spoken word art celebrating poetry in the Ardens on august 13th from 1 to 3 pm. The event will include a reading of selected poems and an historical exhibit of works by Arden poets, Marjorie Poinsette Jobson, Frank Stephens and Walt Whitman. A reading of selected verses of Whitman’s poem, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”, will include a visit to the “Walt Whitman Lilacs Memorial” on the Village Green adjacent to the Arden Craft Shop Museum.
Light refreshments will be provided.
This event is free and open to the public.
Please see our Facebook Event for the most up to date information!
The ACSM is delighted to welcome the Shakespeare Gild back to our building. After two years of Gallery renovations, the Gild can once again use the Bernie Schwab Community Room for costumes and make-up. And we are re-introducing our spot-light Shakespeare exhibition, as well as special open hours before each performance.
The Museum will be open one hour before each production for audience members to enjoy a look at a showcase of pieces related to Shakespeare productions in the Ardens. We have put together items from our collections which show how the arts and crafts traditions of the Ardens have found their way into the performances of the Bard’s plays. After you have saved your seats at the Field Theatre, we hope you will take the time before the show begins to visit the Museum.
The Arden Craft Shop Museum honors the life of long time Arden resident and museum friend, Connee McKinney, with a spot light exhibit, opening Sunday, March 19th.
Connee long supported the museum through the gift of many different artifacts, including her design for the first t-shirt for the Arden Fair, as well as being an always friendly resource for the life of the community.
Our thoughts are with the family in this time. Find the full obituary here.
The ACSM is very pleased to announce the return of our popular program Afternoon with the Artist on Sunday, March 26th. We are delighted that Janet Williams will be the first artist in this new series of programs. Janet grew up in the Ardens and has returned to live in the community. She has studied at PAFA and holds degrees from both the University of Delaware and Philadelphia University. After working in many different media, Janet has returned to painting and has found inspiration in working outdoors.
Janet has said, “As a plein air painter my enjoyment comes from sorting out a cluster of trees, flowers or plants as they capture the light.” We are excited to see what Janet will show and exhibit at the Museum. The show will be open during our regular hours from 1-3 PM, Sunday, March 26th.
To see a sample of Janet's work please visit her website.
Janet is a member of the Arden Artisans Collective.
See the Facebook event here.
The Past Has a Future in the Ardens.
Arden Craft Shop Museum, Open: Wednesdays 7:30 – 9 PM and Sundays from 1-3 PM.
The exhibition celebrating the Ardentown Centennial is now open. We are delighted to announce that that some new objects have been added to both the exhibition and the main display space at the Museum. A wonderful handcrafted sign which once invited guests to that famous, or infamous, spot on the ground level of the Candlelight Theater is now on display. We have also been able to rehang two stained glass windows originally in the Monastery. In addition, a striking hand-carved sign celebrating the Museum is now also on display. Be sure to stop in to see these great additions to the gallery.
Do you remember Afternoon with the Artist? This program ran for a number of years and presented a Sunday afternoon show for an artist or artisan from the Ardens. Mark your calendar for Sunday, March 26th for the return of this special program during our regular Sunday open hours 1-3 PM.
Watch for more information about the featured artist in the March edition of The Page.
The Past Has a Future in the Ardens.
Arden Craft Shop Museum, Open: Wednesdays 7:30 – 9 PM and Sundays from 1-3 PM.
1. The original Purchase of the Harvey and Hanby farms – the 107 acres which became Ardentown, was made by a group called the Committee of Eight. All were residents of Arden and were led by Frank Stephens. The purchase was made in June of 1922 then announced at a Town Meeting of Arden. The purchase was made without any prior approval from Arden, so naturally a committee was created to study the matter. The committee reported at the next Town Meeting that $2500 of the town surplus could be used to offset the taxes and other fees. The Town Meeting voted not to spend the money as the additional land would increase property values and therefore increase lands rents. At a town meeting in November 1922, the residents “opposed” using the name Arden in the naming of the new village.
2. Finally in November 1923, the Village of Arden agreed to extend Millers Road 150 feet so that it would connect with Ardentown. Now we know why the intersection of Millers Road, Walnut, and Lower Lanes has such an odd connection.
3. Fiske Warren, a Boston manufacturer and energetic Georgist, provided the funds for the Ardentown land purchase. In return for his investment, he received the leases to a number of the properties. We have a letter from May 1929 which identifies him a holding 45 of the approximately 120 available leaseholds.
4. In the very early days, the leaseholds were not taken quickly enough to provide the funds for the Trustees to repay Warren for his investment. It was reported that Warren took the remaining 30 leaseholds and paid the funds to the Village, so the Village could pay him.
5. To complete this unusual business arrangement. Warren hire Elizabeth Ritter to build houses on the leaseholds. And if we believe the reports, Warren provided the money to Ritter for the construction. New residents leased the land from the Trustees and paid Warren for the mortgage on their house. There is an advertisement in March 1930 for New Homes in Ardentown, built by E. B. Ritter. They sound very nice with 6 rooms, bath, heat, electric range, and a garage – and they are only 600 feet from the Arden Station.
6. In 1926, the Trustees of Ardentown saw to the planting of 217 dogwood trees in the village. They also order another 200 maple, linden, and elm trees. At the time there were about 50 houses in town
7. The roads in Ardentown were, of course, originally all dirt and cinders and quite muddy. In the early 1930s the Village rented a stone crusher, hauled rocks from the Naamans Creek, and laid down a foundation for the road. They paving was done by the WPA in 1935. When the “women of the village” found out that many of the workers had walked from Wilmington without breakfast, they made sure to provide coffee for them.
8. The Blue Boar Inn occupied the ground floor of the old Harvey barn and the Inn and the Village had a difficult relationship over the years. As could be expected there were complaints about the behavior of the Inn’s customers, the loudness of the music, and the late-night opening hours. At one point, Ardentown became the only town in the state to set stricter opening hours, specifically for the Blue Boar, than those established by the ABC. The owner of the Blue Boar naturally defended the patrons and pointed out that in order to have a profitable business, the Inn needed to be open to welcome customers. During the 1970’s and beyond, the battle went on for some years in and out of court. The only piece of memorabilia we can find at the Museum, besides some newspaper articles, is an empty match book cover from the Blue Boar Inn. That seems a very quiet reminder.
9. In 1998, the Delaware Department of Transportation sold 30 acres of land between I 95 and the railroad tracks to the Village of Ardentown for $1. This property was combined with six acres already under the control of the Trustees and it became known at the Sunnyside Nature Preserve – an excellent use for “unusable public land.”
10. The earliest Ardentown land rent chart we have found is from 1924 – it was in the Ardentown Leasehold Book given to the ACSM by the Trustees. The rents charged were adjusted by factors such as corner locations, proximity to parkland, and access over a finished highway. At that time the base land rent per 1000 square feet was $ 1.65.
We are excited to announce the Grand Re-Opening of the Arden Craft Shop Museum! Please join us, October 16th from 1-3 pm as we reopen our main gallery space with a new exhibition: Ardentown Celebrates One Hundred! We are so excited to share our renovated gallery with our friends and guests! Please join us for light refreshments and self-guided tours of the gallery. If you are not able to join us on the 16th, we are returning to normal open house, Wednesday 7:30 pm to 9 pm and Sundays 1 pm to 3 pm. You are welcome hither!
What's Happening at the ACSM
To view blog entries from 2013 and previous years, click here.