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Tours May 7 At Matthew Curtiss House



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Tours May 7 At Matthew Curtiss House

The Newtown Historical Society will open the doors of its Matthew Curtiss House on Sunday, May 7, 1 to 4 pm, for tours of the 18th century building, and to showcase demonstrations by two craftspeople.

Folk art painter Margaret Clark will demonstrate her technique, working with media of wood and canvas. The English-born artist moved to Sandy Hook in 1978 and began to develop her natural artistic talent, strongly influenced by the work and styles of Grandma Moses and Rufus Porter.

As with most fine folk artists, Margaret Clark has eschewed formal academic art training to concentrate on the personal expression of her vision of her environment and those who live in it. Her success has founded a cottage industry of sorts as her work continues.

Always fascinated by the New England heritage of wood construction and colonial design, Mrs Clark’s most unusual commission was the scenic painting of the stair treads of a West Redding home reputed to have once been the home of Connecticut’s Revolutionary War hero General Israel Putnam.

Joining Mrs Clark will be doll maker Vicki Richardson. Fresh from an invitation to help decorate the White House Christmas tree with one of her dolls, Ms Richardson has been making reproduction antique cloth dolls for several years. Already well known to area residents for her work with beeswax ornaments, she has become known nationally for her dolls through her participation in craft shows and her recognition in Early American Houses magazine. Often inspired by her reading of children’s literature, her gift to the permanent White House collection was patterned after an idea gathered by the American classic Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Mrs Richardson strives for duplicating a feeling which might be found in dolls up to 150 years ago. To this end she spends a great deal of time finding appropriate fabric for her dolls, often buying fine reproduction fabric from historical museums.

Tours of the Matthew Curtiss House will be conducted throughout the afternoon by costumed and trained docents. The Curtiss House is located at 44 Main Street, just north of the flagpole. The open house tours and craft demonstrations are free and open to the public. For further information, call the Newtown Historical Society at 426-5937.

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