The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms up in Morris Plains, NJ, which is currently celebrating its 25th Anniversary, marked the recent restoration of four original stone piers on its property with a special Dedication this past Saturday.
Part of the Stickley-era landscape, the piers had deteriorated over the years. With many competing preservation projects across the property, spanning the 30 acres of land and nine original buildings, understandably so, the pier restoration had been put onto the backburner.
However, the project moved front and center in 2013 through the joint efforts of the museum’s executive director at the time, Heather Stivison (who has since departed for new adventures) and historic landscape architect, Brian Bosenberg, who has served as a consultant to the museum for several years. After a careful restoration plan for the piers was developed, the Save the Stone Piers campaign was launched at the Grove Park Inn Arts and Crafts Conference in February 2013. From the beginning, the campaign was received with enthusiasm by key supporters. This early momentum paved the way to a thrilling live auction at the museum’s annual fall gala, during which the remaining funds needed to complete the project were raised in a few electrifying minutes.
The meticulous restoration of the piers began in early fall and was completed by winter, just before the first snowfall. The Dedication was put off until the spring and coincided beautifully with the blooming of Craftsman Farms’ magnolia and cherry trees—a welcome sight to attendees after a particularly harsh winter.
Acting Executive Director Vonda Givens, joined by Brian Bosenberg, led the Dedication program, thanking generous donors, whose excitement for the project enabled the museum to complete it in less than a year. Bosenberg discussed the meticulous plans behind this restoration project, which included the careful disassembling of the piers and numbering of each stone so that each could be replaced in its original location.
The piers restoration is an important milestone for the 25 year-old museum, which will continue its yearlong anniversary celebration throughout 2014. And next up for the silver anniversary is Mark Weaver’s program on Arts and Crafts silver: “Grandma’s Silver Tea Set: Is it Arts and Crafts?” on May 31st.
This fall will bring the culmination of the 25th Anniversary celebration with a Founders Weekend over October 18 and 19. This full weekend of events will seek to pay tribute to those whose early support led to the rescue of the property from private development and its development as a museum dedicated to honoring Gustav Stickley’s vision and legacy. This can’t-miss weekend will launch with the 4th Annual Emerging Scholars Symposium, a partnership with the American Fine and Decorative Arts Programme at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and sponsored by Mrs. Aminy I. Audi. The Founder’s Gala, with Honorary Chairs Ted Lytwyn and Cara Corbo, will be held on Saturday evening and Founder’s Day will follow on Sunday with a morning reception and afternoon Open House at the Log House and North Cottage.
For more information on The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms and all of their upcoming events and tours, please visit www.stickleymuseum.orgPhotos courtesy of Kristen Sensenig