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January 01, 0001

            Nearly 100 art pieces ranging from tinware, hanging gallery art, furniture and miniature collectibles are on display at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center

in Pennsburg, providing a rare glimpse into exquisite early American artistry from 18th and 19th centuries.

            Most of the art pieces on the display are handcrafted by artisans from the William Penn Chapter of Historical Society of Early American Decoration, Lower Merion, Pa. But, according to Candace Perry, curator of collections at the heritage center, this unique form of art is dying slowly due to lack of interest and appreciation.

            "It is something that unfortunately is not as well-known or popular as it was just fifty years ago, Perry said. "I don't want it to die out but it might because a lot of younger people aren't picking it up."

            Still, she said there's still a chance to keep the art alive by educating future craftsmen and providing them with necessary tools. She said the Historical Society of Early American Decoration (HSEAD) guild is

helping the public to realize the importance of if this decorative art. The New York-based artisan guild has thirteen chapters throughout the Northeast. With many members well into their late years, HSEAD focuses on form of decorative artistry primarily relating to people who settled in the 18th century New England and Mid-Atlantic states. It's now interested in making more outreaches to the general public because "this was very much a part of our regular cultural landscape," Perry said. 

            As curator of local early Pennsylvania German artifacts, Perry said she was able to draw similarities from many pieces on the ...



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