1954 - 1960
Written by S. Lawrence Whipple, Past President 1959-1960
With a home of its own, the Society entered upon a new era. Now necessary to maintain and equip the building the, a Ways and Means Committee was formed. This committee sponsored various money making events. A food sale in October of 1954 raised one hundred and thirty dollars for dishes; and the first Society supper held in the new building, also in October of 1954 was much enjoyed and yielded ninety dollars.
The yearly Fair become very important as it provided money for maintenance through the year. The Old English Village was made over to fit the Art Center and used for several years. Worn by use and chewed by rats in summer storage, it was finally discarded with regret. Since that time, the following themes have been used for the Fairs – “Ice and Snow”, “The Country Fair”, and “The Yule Tomte”, all attractive and very successful.
Another activity early in the history of the Art Center was an “Artists-and-Craftsmen-at-Work Day” held in October of 1954 which was attended by three hundred interested persons.
In April of 1955, a section of the Old English Village was taken to Tufts College to the New England Folk Festival where members demonstrated and exhibited their products.
An Art Treasures Exhibit was held at the Center on October 30th, 1955. Members and friends brought in their choice family heirlooms for others to see and enjoy. It was such a success that the Society felt it was worth repeating in the future, and the “Antiques Show” was born.
As an added means of revenue members have kept a book exchange at the Center where books read and no longer wanted by some were purchased by others. With generous help from Guilds and individuals the grounds were landscaped, the kitchen well stocked, kick wheels and kilns purchased and donated, a projector and screen provided and display cases donated. Good chairs were purchased and the parking lot blacktopped.
The Society exhibited at the Shoppers World Festival in Framingham from June 14th to June 20th, 1956.
The Constitution and By-Laws were revised in 1956 changing the fiscal year to run from January to January, eliminating the Trustees of the Permanent Fund, revising the restrictions limiting officers to residents of Lexington, reclassifying all members into active and sustaining membership, and clarifying rating classifications.
On June 28th, 1957 the Society sent several volunteer members to assist at the Boston Arts Festival and in December of 1957, the Society voted to have an official pin bearing the seal of the Society, to be made of silver or gold as desired.
In 1958 the Society joined the American Craftsmen’s Council and in the same year the Gourmet Guild was formed.
In February of 1960, the Society voted to award a scholarship to an outstanding boy or girl in the Senior Class who was registered in an Art School or College with a major in art at the time the scholarship was awarded at graduation in June”.
“And now, as we complete twenty-five years of Society activities with an Art Center used daily either of classes, Guild meetings, lectures, monthly Society meetings, Fairs, Exhibitions, and social gatherings, we hope for the Society the same continued Growth, prosperity, dreams and courage which may in the future result in an auditorium added to the present building.”
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