Woodstock History And Hearsay

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9780967926841: Woodstock History And Hearsay
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170 black and white photos and 18 color images. Front matter: list of maps (7), preface, acknowledgements, author biographical timeline and introduction. Back matter: Woodstockers in Service (Second World War and Memoria), end notes, bibliography, list of illustrations and index.

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Anita M. Smith’s story of Woodstock begins with the indigenous god Manitou sending down from the sky the first woman in the shape of a tortoise. Overlook Mountain, which dominates the Woodstock valley, was regarded by Native Americans as the home of Manitou, and is considered sacred ground. Smith’s narrative continues with the arrival of the early European settlers. Her account of the Revolutionary war days balances the viewpoints and activities of local Whigs, Tories and Native Americans—including those of the Mohawk chief Joseph Brant. By the start of the 1800s the Industrial Revolution was mobilizing the valley. The principal activities were glass making, tanning and farming. Soon thereafter the area was ablaze with the farmers’ rebellion against the landlords in the tumultuous down-rent war.In 1902 Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead, a disciple of John Ruskin and William Morris, founded the Byrdcliffe Arts and Crafts colony in Woodstock. Whitehead sought to challenge the mechanistic age by reviving the ancient handicrafts of weaving, iron work, furniture making and pottery in a place that was healthful for the mind as well as the body. Co-founders of his utopian venture were Bolton Brown and a Whitmanesque Midwesterner, Hervey White. Anita Smith, who arrived in the fledgling colony in 1912 as a painter, evokes the magic of this time through a melding of personal anecdotes and scholarship.Hervey White went on to found the Maverick, a commune just over the Woodstock town line in West Hurley. Here he sponsored a theater and a program of summer chamber music (the oldest continuous series in the United States today). White also founded the Maverick Festival, a forerunner of the world-famous Woodstock Festival of 1969. Soon countless numbers of distinguished American painters, sculptors, musicians, writers, dancers, poets and other artists took up residence in Woodstock: George Bellows, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Philip Guston, Alexander Archipenko, Pierre Henrotte, Georges Barrère, James T. Shotwell, Henry Morton Robinson, Bliss Carman, Helen Hayes and a host of others. With her artistic eye, Anita Smith weaves a rich tapestry of oral and documented lore to capture the byplay between hardworking farmers and businessmen, shape-shifting witches and bohemian artists, providing a wonderful behind-the-scenes view of pre-1969 Festival Woodstock. Back Cover: Praise for the first edition: “ . . . The history of Woodstock has now been written. The historian is Anita Smith, one of the pioneering artists in the days when the art colony was forming. I cannot imagine anyone better qualified, for she has an infinite fund of folk lore, knows every legend of what we might call the pre-historic era, and shared in the adventurous life of those young artists who made Woodstock famous half a century ago. It was a strange welding of old world idealism and new world realism when Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead, pupil of Ruskin and friend of William Morris, founded here his colony of the arts and crafts, to challenge so sordid a thing as machinery. Here he recovered the romance of the past by reading and writing in the language of Plato, Virgil or Dante. How could a product of the Kansas prairies like Hervey White fit into such a life? But the miracle of it is that he and others like him did fit into this community for a time. Then they went their separate ways, giving free rein to their creative life, adding to its richness by the first professional organization of chamber music in America. “Miss Smith has a challenging theme. She has met it splendidly . . .” —James T. Shotwell, Bryce Professor Emeritus of the History of International Relations, Columbia University and President Emeritus, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Praise for the second edition: “While starring in a River Arts Repertory production of The Seagull in Woodstock, I grew to love the town. This stunning second edition of Anita Smith’s Woodstock History and Hearsay sensitively captures the beauty and charm of America’s oldest working colony of the arts.” —Joanne Woodward, stage, film and television actor, Westport, CT “I am delighted by the new edition of Woodstock History and Hearsay and offer the publishers my congratulations. The addition of nearly 200 reproductions amplifies the importance of the book by transforming what was an interesting and entertaining story into a fascinating historical resource about Woodstock.” —Neil Trager, Director, Samuel

From the Back Cover:

Praise for the first edition: " . . . The history of Woodstock has now been written. The historian is Anita Smith, one of the pioneering artists in the days when the art colony was forming. I cannot imagine anyone better qualified, for she has an infinite fund of folk lore, knows every legend of what we might call the pre-historic era, and shared in the adventurous life of those young artists who made Woodstock famous half a century ago. It was a strange welding of old world idealism and new world realism when Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead, pupil of Ruskin and friend of William Morris, founded here his colony of the arts and crafts, to challenge so sordid a thing as machinery. Here he recovered the romance of the past by reading and writing in the language of Plato, Virgil or Dante. How could a product of the Kansas prairies like Hervey White fit into such a life? But the miracle of it is that he and others like him did fit into this community for a time. Then they went their separate ways, giving free rein to their creative life, adding to its richness by the first professional organization of chamber music in America.

"Miss Smith has a challenging theme. She has met it splendidly . . ." —James T. Shotwell, Bryce Professor Emeritus of the History of International Relations, Columbia University and President Emeritus, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Praise for the second edition:

"While starring in a River Arts Repertory production of The Seagull in Woodstock, I grew to love the town. This stunning second edition of Anita Smith’s Woodstock History and Hearsay sensitively captures the beauty and charm of America’s oldest working colony of the arts." —Joanne Woodward, stage, film and television actor, Westport, CT

"I am delighted by the new edition of Woodstock History and Hearsay and offer the publishers my congratulations. The addition of nearly 200 reproductions amplifies the importance of the book by transforming what was an interesting and entertaining story into a fascinating historical resource about Woodstock." —Neil Trager, Director, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz, NY

"Woodstock—the town and the idea—resonates as one of the most powerful cultural symbols of our time. This well-researched and highly readable account of its history from Colonial times to just before the Festival helps us understand the roots of its meaning. Libraries with interest in popular culture as well as local history and 20th century American art will all want to acquire it. Extensive illustrations and notes greatly enhance this second edition." —Lawrence Webster, Library Consulting Services, Bennington, VT

"Anita Smith’s Woodstock History and Hearsay is an invaluable and delightful resource for learning about that fascinating creative center. The new edition, lushly illustrated, offers a new generation of readers the chance to become acquainted with this remarkable community and understand why Woodstock matters." —Nancy E. Green, Senior Curator, Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

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