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Mission of the Arden Craft Shop Museum
The mission of the Arden Craft Shop Museum is to collect and exhibit materials and artifacts related to the Ardens, which include the towns of Arden, Ardentown, and Ardencroft. The Arden Craft Shop Museum seeks to educate the community on the Ardens’ history as single-tax communities in addition to how the roles of theater, craftsmanship, art, and other aspects of life have affected the development of the Ardens as a close-knit community.
About the Ardens
The three Ardens, consisting of Arden, Ardentown and Ardencroft, are Single Tax and Arts & Crafts communities. “Single Tax” was an economic theory proposed by Henry George, an American economist and philosopher in the late nineteenth-century. George felt that a land value tax was the most fair and equitable tax and felt that any income tax was unfair by nature. The Ardens also were founded on the ideals of William Morris, as an “Arts and Crafts” community. The Arts & Crafts movement was a reaction against the industrial revolution and valued hand-crafted goods and the incorporation of individualistic design.
Arden, the first community, was founded in 1900 by sculptor Frank Stephens and architect Will Price after an unsuccessful campaign to have all of Delaware switch to the Single Tax. Ardentown would founded in 1922, and Ardencroft in 1950. The Ardens continue to use the Single Tax and to serve as an artist community and have many examples of American Arts & Crafts architecture. Click here to visit the official page of the Village of Arden for more information on the Ardens.
*This website is maintained by the Arden Craft Shop Museum Curator, Kelsey Ransick. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June Kleban, Sadie Somerville, Peg Shaw, Barbara Macklem, and Robin Valencia clean papers and patterns from the Arden Forge.
Sunday the 12th saw a lot of activity at the Arden Craft Shop Museum. A group of five volunteers came out to help our curator clean a group of papers from the Arden Forge. The papers, donated by Pete Renzetti in the early 2000s, consist of sketches, patterns, and other papers used (and stored) in the Arden Forge. As one might imagine, paper and forges have different standards of cleanliness, so the papers arrived at the ACSM in need of extensive cleaning before they could be rehoused and stored safely.
Sadie examines a sketch from the Arden Forge papers.
The ACSM has been working to clean and stabilize the papers for a while, but last Sunday’s crew really helped push the project forward. A team of six, including June Kleban, Sadie Somerville, Peg Shaw, Barbara Macklem, Robin Valencia, and Kelsey Ransick put in over 20 woman-hours of work! They were able to clean and rehouse about half of the papers–a momentous step forward.
Another crew will be coming in this Sunday to care for the rest of the papers. Once the papers are rehoused, they can be processed and placed in the museum office, freeing up processing space for other donations.
Can you tell the before and after sides of this sketch?
Thank you, volunteers! Your work really makes a difference.
Photo taken by Sadie Somerville during the Artist Studio Tour earlier this month.
The Arden Craft Shop Museum will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. We will be open during our regular Sunday hours (1-3 pm). Happy holidays!
If you haven’t had a chance to stop by the museum lately, have no fear! The Arden Craft Shop Museum will have a booth at the annual Arden Holiday Shop on Sunday, December 1 at the Gild Hall. Stop by to pick up our new line of Louise Roberts holiday cards, Arden bumper stickers, and t-shirts that are featured in our current exhibition, Dressed to the Nines: The T-Shirts of the Arden Fair.* We look forward to seeing you there!
*Select sizes and styles only. For more choices, come visit us at the museum Wednesdays from 7:30 – 9:00 pm or Sundays 1:00 – 3:00 pm.