This is art history for me. The art history of my kid years. My friend Carolyn is selling her parents’ house in Philadelphia as her life is elsewhere. Both her late parents were heavily involved in the arts in Philadelphia. Her mother was “the quilt lady” of my childhood and I loved to watch her at the Head House Craft Fair. Recently, the lovely lady who was handling the disposition of things arrived with a box of treasures.
The first photo in this post is a wood block carving by Margery Niblock. I am thrilled this now lives with me. I think it’s so cool. Next is a poster from the Head House Crafts Fair.
The Head House Crafts Fair. It was such a wonderful event. Even though I was just a kid, i’ve never forgotten it. It’s kind of the thing I used to gauge I think subconsciously craft and community fairs. The artisans were amazing at this fair. And a lot of them were friends of my parents, and my mother is one of the key people who put it together after Margery Niblock said it would be a great idea. And my friend Carolyn’s mom was “the quilt lady.”
So these are amazing gifts and mean a lot. It’s funny how decades have gone by, and I can still see, feel, and hear the sounds of this craft fair in the Head House Shambles in my head. I remember that Margery Niblock, and some of the other artists had their work hung on clotheslines quite literally. And you were just see them a little bit in the breeze. It was very cool. And there weren’t just crafts people and artists there. There were antique dealers with treasures for all pocketbooks, and there were workshops for kids that were really cool and not dumb downed stuff with Play-Doh. And there was all sorts of food, representing many different cultures.
People undoubtedly think that all of us Society Hill kids of this mid-60s to mid-70s era are a little nutty because it was kind of cool to be a kid there then. It was a more innocent an era for kids, for sure. It’s not like life was perfect and that there weren’t kids dealing with crazy family stuff because that’s any era at any time, but there were truly good and fun things like this crafts fair. Or going to Old Swedes (Gloria Dei) for Santa Lucia…and back then they used real candles.
Also in the gift box of memories were a whole slew of unframed Margery Niblock prints, and a couple of the prints were framed. And there was a poster of the craft fair and the marvelous poster of a slightly later vintage designed for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in 1989. This was the year Margery also won a garden contest of theirs. A couple of years ago, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society discontinued their home gardeners gardening contests, which I think it’s a pretty poor decision, and it kind of has made me lose interest in them along with some other factors.
This was a beloved time capsule entrusted to me as the next steward of it. I accept that responsibility with a glad heart. It’s art and memories I love and the work of an artist that means something to me.
Another amazing thing included with what was gifted to me was a small quilt made by Carolyn‘s mother. It’s a pattern similar to what I was photographed watching her make that day all those decades ago.
Also included? An amazing piece of an old quilt framed. I am sure this was a quilt that Carolyn‘s mother discovered somewhere that was too old to repair so she took the corner of the quilt that had the signature on it and framed it….from 1843.
In a time when people just throw good art away, I am both lucky and grateful that one of the former league of original Society Hill- St. Peter’s kids. And the thing about art is it doesn’t have to be priceless, it just has to resonate with you. If you go to charity sales, or flea markets, there is a lot of art that needs adopting. Adopt a piece today!
Thanks for stopping by.