WAPAKONETA — The Auglaize County Historical Society will present “Big, Heavy and Brightly Painted: The Decorative Arts of Ohio’s Germanic Communities” at 7 p.m. Monday, June 22, on the organization’s Facebook Live page, facebook.com/AuglaizeCountyHistory.
Courtesy of Auglaize County Historical Society:
The term “decorative arts” refers to high-quality objects that are both useful and beautiful. During the nineteenth century, the sound of German being spoken was a common occurrence throughout much of Ohio. During this time, thousands of immigrants left their homes in Germany, Switzerland, and Alsace and came to America, bypassing the populated Eastern seaboard, and choosing, instead, to settle in the agrarian heartland. Others came from existing Germanic communities in the Eastern United States, particularly Pennsylvania, and moved west, where land was cheap and fertile. Along with their language, these immigrants brought with them a rich furniture-building and decorative arts tradition that included vibrantly decorated blanket chests in places like Wayne and Fulton Counties, and heavily built wardrobes in Zoar and New Bremen. Because of their language and religious beliefs, the communities that these immigrants formed often remained isolated from mainstream American society. As a result, they continued to produce furniture and other decorative arts in styles that had long fallen out of fashion elsewhere.
To access the event, simply go to the Auglaize County Historical Society Facebook page (also accessible via https://www.facebook.com/AuglaizeCountyHistory) a little before 7 pm on June 22. When the program is about to begin, a red box with the word LIVE will pop up, and the program will appear as the most current post on the page. Make sure you adjust your volume (on the screen), if needed.
About our Speaker: Andrew Richmond is the president and CEO of Wipiak Consulting and Appraisals in Marietta, Ohio. With degrees in history from Kenyon College and American Material Culture from the Winterthur Program/University of Delaware, Andrew’s passion is the decorative arts of Ohio. He has lectured and published widely on the subject and has curated two major exhibition: Equal in Goodness: Ohio Decorative Arts 1788-1860 and A Tradition of Progress: Ohio Decorative Arts 1860-1945. He also serves on the boards of several museums and decorative arts organizations.