What Have You Done For Your Library Today?
Libraries, those beautiful, timeless institutions — full of romance, history, art and adventure. More and more, however, we see their door’s close, their collection’s sold, their history forgotten. Supporting libraries may just be the very thing that keeps our civilization from crumbling to the ground.
And we’re so incredibly pleased to share that a very special business within our own Arts and Crafts community is helping to ensure the livelihood of a major library in the Midwest.
The Detroit Public Library is the largest public library system in the state of Michigan. The Main Library and its 21 neighborhood branches make it one of the most valuable and accessible public institutions in the state. For nearly 150 years the Library has served as a vital community resource. It not only provides books and research materials but it minimizes the digital divide by providing technology access to all visitors. These resources connect citizens to jobs, information, learning and entertainment.
Another Detroit staple, as most of you know, is the historic Pewabic Pottery. Pewabic was founded in 1903 – and while many things have changed, their culture remains the same. They foster a progressive environment by celebrating new artists, exhibiting innovative work and offering opportunities to explore, experiment and invent. Pewabic’s founder, Mary Chase Perry Stratton, was an innovator. In the early twentieth century, her experiments with glazes changed the face of contemporary ceramics. That spirit – her living legacy – is what drives Pewabic today.
You might be wondering what these two things have in common. Well, within the towering walls of the Detroit Public Library lies a very special point of interest in the original Children’s Library — the Pewabic fireplace created by Mary Chase Stratton and Horace J. Caulkins. Produced in 1921, its decorative tiles picture ten tales loved by children. Following a custom as old as time, the hearth was a gathering place for children’s story time. It was here among the visual array of beloved stories, children gathered to listen, to dream and to imagine the characters depicted in the tiles.
The Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation in partnership with Pewabic Pottery is excited to announce a collection of re-imagined tiles, a set of 4, for a limited time, the first having been released this past fall 2014. The first in the series, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, is pressed and hand-glazed in the historic Pewabic Pottery, and is 8 x 13 inches suitable for hanging or decorative display.
Carl Sagan may have said it best when he stated, “The health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.” So, with Carl Sagan’s words in mind and the love of the Arts and Crafts movement in your heart, click over to the Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation website and purchase one of these limited edition tiles for a friend, your office or your home. It might just be the best thing you do all week and you will have left a lasting impression on the future of the Detroit Public Library.
For more information on Pewabic Pottery, visit www.pewabic.org.