Rustic Revival: Gilborn to speak at Adirondack Museum

BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE Contemporary rustic artisans honor the traditional methods and forms of early Adirondack makers while giving their pieces distinctive, individual style. New contemporary designs are emerging within this more than century-old craft as well. Interest in the art form continues to grow.

Author, historian, and former Director of the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, Craig Gilborn, says, "Rustic furniture can be quirky and it can be personal, reflecting the success of the maker in drawing character out of the materials."

On Monday, July 9, Gilborn will offer a program entitled "The Rustic Revival 30 Years Ago" at the Adirondack Museum. The first offering of the season in the museum's Monday Evening Lecture series, the slide-illustrated presentation will be held in the museum's auditorium at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge for museum members. Admission is $4 for non-members.

Gilborn is the author of Adirondack Furniture and the Rustic Tradition and Adirondack Camps: Homes Away from Home, 1850 - 1950. He was also the driving force behind the Adirondack Museum's pioneering exhibit of rustic furniture in 1974. His lecture will focus on personal reminiscences of the early days of building the museum's rustic collections and his own collecting "expeditions."

Gilborn says that the 1974 exhibition focused on the Asian and European background of rusticity from a decorative arts perspective. He spent the ten years following the opening of the exhibit collecting information and photographs for his landmark book on Adirondack rustic furniture. Although his primary interest was in historic rusticity, Gilborn's research brought him into contact with contemporary makers who were establishing themselves in the craft.

In 1987, the Adirondack Museum held the first Rustic Furniture Fair, providing a platform for rustic makers to show their work and exchange ideas. Gilborn was instrumental in organizing the first fair. Together, the museum's exhibit, the rustic fair, and Craig Gilborn's book can be credited with the "revival" of interest in rustic furniture to which the title of the lecture alludes.

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