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The Farmers' Museum: A Window To The Future

Posted on: Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Open window at The Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown
Fleece drying in the sun

I had a magical time visiting The Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown, NY, a few weekends ago – thanks to the kind invite from my mother and her fiber art friends. I loved observing first-hand how rural craft traditions and slow methodologies in American history still have such resonance in contemporary making and slow fashion production.

Indigo dye vat at the Fantastic Fibers weekend at the Farmers' Museum

It was a hot afternoon for the 'Fantastic Fibers' demonstrations and activities, but this cool vat of indigo dye was totally refreshing in hue and spirit. The skeins of yarn that were later dyed by volunteers served as the perfect  backdrop for the deep dreaming that goes on at a living museum like this. I was reminded of the great work currently being carried out by The Permacouture Institute, The Textile Arts Center, HAND/EYE magazine, Alabama Chanin, and artist Rachel Miller at Pratt – to name a few.

Indigo dyed yarn drying in the sun at The Farmers' Museum 

This all made me nostalgic for the days when slow retailing (as offered up by the general store at The Farmers' Museum) connected sellers with consumers in a manner that created a true dialogue in terms of the ebb and flow of goods and services throughout a community. 

A STORE pure and simple.
Herb garden and apothecary at The Farmers' Museum

Imagine the possibilities, too, of having an herb garden and healing plants just beyond the front steps of the village apothecary. There is so much to be learned from the past and the bygone eras of slower rhythms and sensibly wild relationships.

(all photos by Abigail Doan)


Morna C-M said...

I'm loving these photos - I will definitely have to visit the museum. Thanks!

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