Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Concord Museum/The Best Workman in the Shop

Link to the Exhibition Website:

Curator: David F. Wood

PR Buzz: "The Best Workman in the Shop explores William Munroe's (1778-1861) life and career through the objects he made - including some of the most beautiful clocks crafted in Massachusetts, exquisitely crafted furniture and his detailed shop records."

Recommended For: a fall family outing to historic Concord

The Experience:
I took the kids over to the Concord Museum today to see their relatively new show on the life and work of William Monroe. I thought it a valuable fieldtrip primarily because time-telling is one skill they are learning in school and the exhibition promised an opportunity to see some very different clocks than ones they were used to seeing.

The show opened with a gallery dedicated to Monroe's period of apprenticeship during which he learned his craft. We then passed through a long (an architecturally awkward) gallery about working Concord in Monroe's day and finished with a large gallery featuring some of Monroe's more ambitious creations. Overall, the installation was concise, tidy and attractively installed.

The kids enjoyed the hands-on interactive about inlay work and we were able to then go around and (carefully) point out examples of inlay on the historic pieces.

I do wish that more could have been made of the manuscript autobiography that Monroe penned that was the source material for most of the details of his career.

One enjoyable surprise was the tall case clock in the final gallery striking the hour as we worked on our inlay patterns.
-Vident Omnes

While you're there: see From the Minute Man to the Lincoln Memorial: The Timeless Sculpture of Daniel Chester French, also very popular with my children.

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