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Sloane Museum Highlighted 1800s Material Culture

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KENT—The Eric Sloane Museum, located just north of the village center, held a Winter Market last Saturday in conjunction with the CommUNITY Holiday Festival in the town’s center.

The market featured local artisans who sold handcrafted gift items ranging from handmade spoons and bowls to hand-forged kitchen items, herbal remedies, candles, teas and homemade baked goods.

Herbalist Treasa Pattison of Cornwall was at the Eric Sloane Museum last Saturday for its Holiday Market, which shone a spotlight on traditional crafts. Photo by Kathryn Boughton

Living history enactors were on hand to share what life was liked during the first half of the 19th century, the era artist Eric Sloane detailed in his books on Early American life.

Inside the reconstruction of Noah Blake’s 1805 cabin, Tyler Grecco, dressed impeccably in the black garments effected by Victorian gentlemen, displayed his collection of vintage garments and explained to visitors the clothing conventions of the era.

He said, for instance, that by the mid-1800s, men would have dressed entirely in black, with only the exception being their white shirts and a touch of flamboyance in their vests.

Andrew Rowand, curator and site administrator for the museum, said it was the first year an artisans’ market had been held there. “We wanted to highlight the clothing and material culture of winter in the 1800s,” he said. “It has gone very well—we’ve had more than 100 people come through today—and we hope to expand on it in future years.”

It was the end of the season for the museum, which features many of the agricultural tools that Sloane portrayed in his illustrations, a collection of his art, and his studio. The site will reopen in April.

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