Paintings, Products, Classes and News from Johanne Cassia
March 2011
In this Dab of Paint...
"Decorative Arts" Johanne Presents at the Ipswich Museum, March 16, at 7:00 pm
B&B "March Madness"

Dear Reader,

Time for spring cleaning and redecorating. We are all ready to declutter and perhaps do a little redecorating to freshen up our home or workplace.

Since we own a B&B, shop and gallery, we receive many invitations to attend national wholesale shows. One of the biggest shows is in Atlanta. This year the Atlanta show catalogue cover displayed throw pillows in a contemporary pattern designed from an early American penny rug. Many other modern home goods are inspired by colonial designs. The early American decorative and folk arts have moved into the forefront of contemporary design.

Hope you will join me as I highlight some of the popular colonial decorative and folk arts at the Ipswich Museum on March 16 at 7:00 pm.

We welcome questions and comments from our readers.

Even in those meager times, both men and women contributed to the decorations found in early colonial homes. In Ipswich and in the surrounding towns, a treasure trove of artwork was created.  Early decorative arts included: portraits, wall murals, painted fire boards, silhouettes, fireboxes and overmantels. Most often these works were created by self taught itinerant artists. Folk art or art created by common "folk" was often utilitarian. Many objects used daily were beautifully executed like quilts, brooms and bed covers. Early American decorative arts and folk art reveal much about the merging of peoples and the development of a new nation.

One popular form of decoration in Massachusetts was the painting of overmantels. A traveling artist would hope to obtain a meal or a nights stay by painting a scene on the wooden surface over the mantel. The artist might create a scene depicting the local area and include a portrait of the home or tavern.

On March 16, at 7:pm, Johanne Cassia, local folk artist and designer will give a presentation entitled: "Early American Folk and Decorative Arts" at the Ipswich Museum. Johanne's presentation will include an interactive program highlighting some examples from the local area, and a variety of decorative art pieces from her personal collection. Johanne, a self taught artist, began her art career by painting murals on the walls of a bedroom in her historic home. She painted a second mural on the walls of her shop to use up the left over paint. In a few weeks, she began painting murals and overmantels in the homes of her customers. If you are excited about colonial history, architecture and art, you will enjoy participating in Johanne's program.

As a special treat for this evening, the Ipswich Museum will have on display the folk art piece, "The Dawson Painting." It is an important part of the Ipswich Museum collection because it shows the Dawson family as children.  It will be exhibited with accompanying photographs of the children as adults. The Dawson home still stands on Topsfield road.

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A collection of original overmantels by Johanne Cassia at the "Designer Craftsmen Show at Valley Forge," PA.

Spring Celebration! March Madness!


Weekend getaway specials for either the King or Federal Queen room.Two night stay for $250 or stay any week day during March for Just $99.

Contact Rogers & Brown House B&B by email or call 978-356-9600.

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