ARTISAN LECTURE SERIES Winter and Spring 2017
Please join The General Society as we pay tribute to the art of craftsmanship. The series will feature internationally known artisans who will talk about the intricacies of their specialized crafts. The Artisan Lecture Series promotes the work and art of skilled craftsmen to assist in ensuring their unique knowledge is understood and carried forth for future generations.
This series is co-curated by Rhett Butler, Owner and Founder of E. R. Butler and Jean Wiart (who was the original curator of the Artisan Lecture series ) Master Artisan of of Fine Ornamental Metalwork.
UPCOMING ARTISAN LECTURES
Tuesday April 11, at 6:30 p.m. – Tucker Viemiester, Industrial Design, Viemiester Industries, for more information, please click here
Tuesday, April 25, at 6:30 p.m. – Jamie Swan, Bicycle Maker. For more information, please click here
Tuesday May 9, at 6:30 p.m. – Michiko Sakano, Michiko Sakano Studio, Glass Artist. For more information, please click here
Tuesday May 23, at 6:30 p.m. – Chris Pellettieri, Pellettieri Stone Carver, Stone Carver/Sculptor. For more information, please click here
Tuesday June 6th at 6:30 p.m. – Paul Gunther, Co-Author of New York Living: Reinventing Home, Executive Director of the Gracie Mansion Conservancy, Tamara Eaton and Chris Kraig.
Tuesday June 13th at 6:30 p.m. – Robert Baird, Historical Arts & Casting, US Capitol Cast Iron Dome Restoration
Tuesday June 20th at 6.30 p.m. – Jean Wiart, Les Metalliers Champenois, Master Artisan of Fine Ornamental Metalwork
Thursday, June 29th at 6.30 p.m. – Yves Theunis, TRM Enterprises, Master Artisan of Slate, Tile and Stone Roofing
The programs begins at 6:30 p.m. in The General Society Library
20 West 44th Street, (Between 5th and 6th Avenues) New York City.
A reception will follow all lectures. Advance registration is recommended.
Please contact lisa.wolf@generalsociety to register. $15 General Admission; $10 General Society Members;
$10 Senior Citizens; $5 Students.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.
Recent Past Lectures
Lukas Wronski, Violin Maker With Violinist Kinga Augustyn.
Tuesday, February 28th at The General Society Library. The Lecture starts at 6:30 – Reception to Follow.
Established violin maker, Lukas Wronski will explain the process of creating a violin from start to finish. He will describe the history of violin making, and discuss how the violin was invented and its development over the centuries. He will elaborate on how each violin has its own distinct sound, determined by the properties of the wood and the violin maker’s style. There will also be a screening of a brief documentary that captures Mr. Wronski at work.
When the violin is finished, the atelier normally continues to maintain the instrument for the musician, fine-tuning and adjusting it on a regular basis. This ongoing relationship, will be vividly illustrated, when the evening concludes with a short performance from acclaimed violinist virtuoso Kinga Augustyn, playing a violin made by Mr. Wronski.
Lukas Wronski was born in Poland into a family, whose artistic traditions stretch back for centuries. He started playing the violin at the age of nine and made his first violin at thirteen. This experience launched his long study of violin making and music, including his Master of Arts degree in violin making. After decades of extensive training and working for distinguished ateliers of violin making all over the world, Mr. Wronski opened his own violin-making atelier in New York in 2012 and became the owner of Lukas Violins. His instruments have received numerous awards and have been appreciated by many great musicians.
The program begins at 6:30 p.m. in The General Society Library
20 West 44th Street, (Between 5th and 6th Avenues), New York City.Reception to follow. Advance registration is recommended.
$15 General Admission;
$10 General Society Members;
$10 Senior Citizens;
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs,
in partnership with the City Council.
Intertwining Roots: Watchmaking, Artisanship & Technology with Horological Expert, Michael L. Friedman, Historian at Audemars Piguet & Watchmaker, Nicholas Manousos, President of the Horological Society.
This first Artisan Lecture of 2017 on February 14th, examined the history, development and craftsmanship of watchmaking. While most technologies that we engage with on a daily basis will be upgraded in short time, expertly crafted mechanical watches are designed to last forever. Mechanical watches are among a tiny category of objects of permanence that stand in defiance of the planned obsolescence that defines the vast majority of contemporary consumerism. This special place that watches holds in the present day is directly connected to the fact that watchmaking is among the most interdisciplinary fields in existence. In an engaging talk, Michael Friedman and Nicholas Manousos explored how watchmaking’s intertwined relationship with art and technology has been central to its evolution during the past 500 years.
PAST 2016 ARTISAN LECTURES
De Huisman: On Craftsmanship, Insight and Authenticity. A Documentary on the Restoration of a Notable Dutch Windmill with Film-maker Wendy van Wilgenburg.
The U.S premiere of this unique film, De Huisman, by Wendy van Wilgenburg took place on December 1st and documented the complete restoration of one of the Zaanse Schans’ finest windmills: ‘De Huisman’ (famous for its mustard.) The Zaanse Schans is a Dutch residential area in which the 18th and 19th centuries are brought to life, full of wooden houses, barns, and workshops. This area, with a skyline of traditional windmills, attracts around 1.7 million tourists a year. The documentary follows the construction process for over a year and a half in all weather conditions, looking over the shoulders of the carpenters as they hammer and saw. Technical challenges and differences of opinion between the involved parties unfold before the camera. The whole process has resulted in an engrossing documentary that pays homage to traditional craftsmanship and offers a critical view on restoring cultural heritage.
Illuminating Knowledge: Creating a Major Stained Glass Installation to Foster Engaged Learning at Utah Valley University
This the first installment of the Fall 2016 General Society Artisan Lecture Series, Illuminating Knowledge: Creating a Major Stained Glass Installation to Foster Engaged Learning at Utah Valley University took place on Monday, October 17th. The program discussed the creation of Roots of Knowledge, a significant new work of stained glass, installed in the library at Utah Valley University (UVU) in Orem, and also touch upon the production of contemporary stained glass in New York City. Conceived by Utah artist and former UVU student, Tom Holdman and UVU President, Matthew Holland, the work was commissioned to celebrate the 75th anniversary of what is today the largest public university in the state. It in situ will anchor an undulating wall of windows in the library, 10 feet high by 200 feet long, and comprising 60,000 pieces of glass. In this program, Mr. Holdman and President Holland will speak about its evolution and development as a fusion of art, education, and public space. Cybele Maylone, Executive Director of Urban Glass in Brooklyn, will give a short introductory lecture, followed by a panel discussion with the Roots of Knowledge team. The moderator will be Rebecca Allan, artist and former director of public programs at Bard Graduate Center.
Please scroll down for information on the Past 2015/2016 Artisan Lectures.
Thursday, September 17, 2015 – Michael Welton,Drawing from Practice
Author J. Michael Welton will discussing his new book, Drawing from Practice, which explores and illuminates the ways that 26 diverse renowned architects use freehand drawing to shape the world. Mr. Welton will give a short presentation on his book, to be followed by a Q&A and book signing.
Thursday October 29, 2015 – with Stefanie Walker
“Bats, Bad Dreams, and Damsels in Distress: The Darker Side of René Lalique’s Jewelry” An event held in collaboration with the American Society of Jewelry Historians examining the jewelry-making process.
Thursday November 12 – Marijn Manuels, Conservator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Installation and Conservation of the Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room
Tuesday, December 8th – Vicki Vasilopoulos, Film Documentary Maker, Men of the Cloth
This engaging film describes how three revered Italian master tailors navigate their challenging roles in the 21st century and unravels the mystery of their art.
Tuesday, February 23 – Gregory Dietrich, Architectural Historian, Dahlander in Brooklyn
Gregory Dietrich will explore the work of Swedish architect Magnus E. Dahlander (1862-1951), who practicedin Brooklyn between 1890 and 1896, and designed a stunning array of rowhouses, townhouses, and apartment buildings in Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights North, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Stuyvesant Heights.
Tuesday, March 8th – Béatrice Coron, Stories Cut from Paper
This Artisan specializing in visual silhouette story-telling cuttings in artist books, illustrations, and public art will elaborate on how she creates these intricate worlds.
Tuesday, April 12th – Rhett Butler, Owner and Founder, E.R. Butler and Company
E.R. Butler & Co. is a custom hardware manufacturer of fine architectural, builders’ and cabinetmakers’ Early American, Federal and Georgian period hardware.
Monday, April 18th – Robert Baines, Art Jeweler and Goldsmith
Robert Baines will discuss his acclaimed career as goldsmith and jeweler
Tuesday, April 26th– Christopher Spitzmiller, Owner and Founder, Christopher Spitzmiller, Inc
Christopher Spitzmiller, iconic designer, potter and lamp maker discusses his unique career path designing and producing the best handmade ceramic table lamps with an overview of his process from initial design to connecting with clients.
Tuesday, May 10th – Glenn Boornazian, President and Principal Conservator, Integrated Conservation Resources
This conservator, who provides technical services for historic buildings and monuments, and consults on architectural conservation for historic structures, will discuss the techniques he uses.
Tuesday, June 14th – Alix Soubiran, Founder and Creative Director, Princes & Crows
This artisan designer of custom murals, wallpapers and décor will explain the processes she employs to design and create wallpapers.
Tuesday, June 21st -Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan
Inspired by the exhibit of the same name opening at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., woodworker Ustad Nasser Mansouri, who designed and created the architectural woodwork installation at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Turquoise Mountain CEO Shoshana Stewart, and architect Peter Pennoyer will discuss the revival of Afghanistan’s artistic traditions in Kabul and the United States.
And the Friends of the Artisan Lecture Series.