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What's a Lost or Endangered Art?
Plowing the Past to Cultivate our Future
“Lost and endangered arts” are traditional practices, work disciplines, methods, processes (as codified and validated knowledge) that carry out work and which, in turn, produce an output such as food in the lost art of market gardening, a chair in the lost art of Shaker furniture making, a candle in the lost art of taper dipping, etc.
Lost arts goods and services represent the best traditions and practices associated with the birth and growth of our nation, or any nation or indigenous culture.
Lost arts enrich the lives of the general public, the tourist / agritourism economy, and the artisans, farmers, and ranchers (i.e. “the practitioners”) that power the lost and endangered art communities.
Lost art practitioners blaze a trail for the next generation of apprentice practitioners to follow through the “guild” system of structured education.
The bottom line; lost and endangered arts build careers and high quality goods and services while perpetuating, and paying homage to, our historic past.
In essence, lost arts Communities-of-Practice (COP’s) help a local economy to synthesize and promote the powerful commercial forces that drive the overall health, sustainable capacity and well-being of lost art communities across our nation and beyond. We call this concept; the “lost arts business ecosystem”.
The mission objective for this free Track #5; Lost Arts Compendium channel centers on awareness-building as well as the protection and preservation of “lost and endangered arts”; those traditional farming, artisanal, and craft-driven practices that produce sustainable ecosystems of soils, plants, animals, and people.
One lost art area that I love to promote is what is called the life-cycle of the colonial New England farm from the earliest days of the arrival of the Pilgrims on the shores of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1620. The work by University of Pennsylvania Professor, Robert St. George.
Robert St. George is Associate Professor of History. His research explores ethnographic method, folklife studies, material culture, vernacular landscapes, and heritage productions in North America, England, Ireland, and Iceland. He teaches undergraduate courses on such topics as early American cultural history, witchcraft in the early modern world, public culture, American vernacular architecture, performing history, and American consumer culture. He is a graduate of Hamilton College (A.B., 1976), the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware (M.A., 1978), and the University of Pennsylvania (M.A., 1980, Ph.D., 1982).
Here’s where his work captured our attention: