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For the second year in a row, we mark the solstice with meaningful conversations that ground us in a sense of place and the rhythms of nature. Join us as we celebrate the summer solstice with a Studio open house and evening lecture exploring different ways people crafted their lives and communities with intention during Esherick’s lifetime. Gathered in the 1956 Workshop, we’ll host a talk with Dr. Tom Guiler, the Director of Museum Affairs at the Oneida Community Mansion House (that’s right, the home of the communal society that made our—and Esherick’s—beloved Community Plate flatware!). Tom’s work focuses on utopian communities in 19th and 20th America such as Roycroft, Byrdcliffe, and Rose Valley. The program will pay particular attention to the distinct historical periods that motivated people to form utopian communities, seek out different rhythms for their lives, and why communal experiments continue to persist today. Guests are also invited to enjoy an open house of the Studio and light refreshments in the Workshop before the talk begins. Come experience Esherick’s iconic creations on this special, longest day of the year! 


Wharton and Letty Esherick moved out to Paoli precisely because they wanted to live differently than the people with whom they grew up. Between their time in Fairhope, the Ruth-Doing Dance Camp, and the Hedgerow Theatre close to their home, the Esherick family visited and was involved with a number of communities who also experimented with different ways of living. We’ll be exploring how people and communities historically attempted the noble art of living differently and asking questions such as how do the rhythms of an intentional life differ from a traditional one? How and why should we seek to live intentionally today? 


About Tom Guiler:

Dr. Thomas Guiler is the Director of Museum Affairs at the Oneida Community Mansion House. He is a scholar of utopian and intentional communities with a particular interest in the history of upstate New York, social protests, material culture, decorative arts, business relations, and the digital and public humanities. Guiler’s work appears in Pennsylvania History and Communal Societies and he has received grants, awards, and fellowships from the Communal Studies Association, the New York Council for the Humanities, the Popular Culture/American Culture Association, the University of Rochester, and Syracuse University. He also founded and continues to manage Upstate Historical, an interactive website that brings the rich history of Upstate New York to life with content that tells the story of a particular place, the people that lived there, and events at that location. Tom is currently working on a book, The Handcrafted Utopia: Arts and Crafts Communities in America’s Progressive Era


Tickets are Limited:

$50 per person

$40 for WEM members – Join or renew today to purchase your ticket at this special price!

*This event takes place in the 1956 Workshop and includes light refreshments as well as an open house in Esherick’s Studio.



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