It’s not every day that you get a handwritten note scratched onto the back of an envelope inviting you to hang your work in one of your favorite little museums. When that happens, say, YES! And so I did when I saw a penned note to me on the museum newsletter faithfully sent out by the Davistown Museum every year. Very fitting communication method from the Davistown founder and director, salvage meister, and champion of the hand-hewn, Skip Brack.
(Skip in his natural habitat. Excellent suspenders!)
As soon as I got Skip’s invitation to install work I knew what I wanted to bring: I happened to have made a series I call “Special Collections”, an ode to the basement workshop and obsessive collector.
I became acquainted with Skip years ago when I started frequenting his extraordinary “Liberty Tool Company”
in Liberty, Maine, a favorite shopping destination for craftsmen and women and artists seeking tools
(and do-dads) of yore which stand the test of time and often surpass today’s depressingly low standards. Need a saw vice that swivels on an axle and can’t find it in Depot Cheapo? Head to Liberty Tool! A Yankee screw driver? Head to Liberty Tool!
How ’bout a spork?
Oh, but I digress–this posting is about The Davistown Museum,
which is directly across the street from Liberty Tool Company. This crammed packed museum is the repository for Skip Brack’s best finds in his salvage business. This is the stuff you cannot buy from him no matter how much money you offer because these finds belong in a permanent collection where they will be preserved in perpetuity for us tool and do-dad lovers to admire and covet forever. You cannot believe what Skip has acquired over all his years of buying up old manufacturing inventories.
Lord knows where he has stumbled on these treasures that span American history.
And to heck with millennial museum practices: if you like it, find a spot for it and settle it in. It’s going to feel at home at the Davistown, because, indeed home is where the heart is!
Skip’s primary focus at the Davistown is the history of American tools, but really this crammed full museum showcases just about anything that Skip truly loves and so a visit to the Davistown is a window onto Skip’s soul.
As if the visit weren’t sweet enough there were two lovely, and darned good bluegrass musicians jamming on the porch.
Their music accompanied us as we strolled through “downtown” Liberty:
Is it possible that Liberty has the only hexagonal post office in the USA?
Bye, bye, Liberty! I’ll be back…