1960 - 1984
Written by S. Lawrence Whipple, Past President 1959-1960
Additions to the building were constructed in 1965 and in 1972. Both were built to the rear of the building because of a town easement where the parking lot was located. Some Guilds (ceramics, woodworking, weaving and metalworkers) require expensive equipment and have been equipped gradually by guild and Society efforts. The building allows members to get together in their own studios for work, collaboration, education and support. In addition to the studio space, the additions made it possible for a gallery, and an administrative office and library. The library was funded by a trust fund of a member, the late Minnie Seaver and bore her name for many years.
The gallery is named for Phillip B. Parsons, a renowned painter who was a member of the painters’ guild and taught at the Society. In 1984, the Gallery was renovated for the 50th Anniversary celebrations. In the early 1970’s the Parson’s Gallery was the only Gallery in town. Above the building’s front door is a lunette depicting the original society logo which was designed by a member, George Hauman, and carved by a 50 year long member, Andrew Dreselly. It depicts a painter and a potter at work.
The membership grew from 30 members in the 1930’s to 500 in the 1980’s. “The ratio of equipment to membership in some guilds can restrict new memberships”, according to an article in the Lexington Minute-man dated Thursday, September 20, 1984 in which past President and 50th Celebration chairman, Howard Nason was quoted. The rating system, adopted in 1944, had produced 18 members who attained master craftsman status. At the time of the 50th Celebration, in 1984, the Society included nine guilds: ceramics, decorative arts, gourmet, miniature arts, metalworkers, needleworkers, painters, weavers and woodworkers.
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