Why Support an Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen

The first in a collection of iconic wild life sculptures, The Andersen Design Floating Gull was created in the early sixties and has maintained its marketability ever since, establishing Andersen Design’s work as genuine classics in their field.

#GivingTuesday is NOVEMBER 21- Please consider this:

I started this blog as an alternative voice, long absent in Maine’s media, particularly since the Longley Doctrine of “a centrally managed economy by public private relationships” was established over and above our constitutional form of government in the mid seventies. In the tradition in which this blog was created, preserving the American political philosophy, which by its commitment to individual liberty, can be none other than a free enterprise system, I am defining one of the missions of the Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen as shining light on the character of a  free enterprise system.

While The Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen has belatedly gotten past the $1000.00 required in personal contributions so that we can begin the process of applying for foundation grants, we still need to raise funds quite immediately to procure a space and operations budgets tp get us through the interim between applying for foundation funding and receiving it.

The following is a general fundraising appeal describing Andersen Design’s historical contribution to local economic development and why you should support it, with a contribution, large or small,as consistent with the founding purpose of this blog.

This blog is called Preserving The American Political Philosophy and in that respect is often about the subject of economic development with a special focus on local economic development.

Andersen Design is a ceramic designer craftsmen enterprise, established on Southport Island, Maine, in 1952 by my parents Weston and Brenda Andersen. Our enterprise has a long history which has produced an abundance of ceramic creative work over the course of sixty-five years. Andersen Design’s classic wildlife sculptures and functional forms are iconic representations of Maine for our collectors from all over the globe. Because our company was started with a mission to create hand crafted art and design affordable to the middle class, our work came to be collected by families of all walks of life and handed down from one generation to the next. Today there exists many collections dating back to the 1950’s, hidden away in the many folds of American and world culture.
Since Andersen Design is a ceramic production company distinguished by using art glazes and individualistic hand decorative techniques, there is an overwhelming abundance of variety in our historical work which deserves to be archived and presented to the public in curated displays. You can view samplings of our vintage history in two videos found on the home page of Andersen Design
My sister Elise and myself have inherited the business and responsibility to preserve the legacy and to use Andersen Design’s unusual intellectual assets to seed the ground for a blossoming ceramic designer industry of the future which we envision as located in Maine’s rural areas.
This post is a request for support during the first formational months of the Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen.  We are hoping to procure temporary quarters for the museum in a location central to a cluster ceramic industry, both fee enterprise and non-profit, which grew up or about the Boothbay region in the wake of the establishment of Andersen Design. The location we would like to rent on the road that leads to the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts and centrally located between Edgecomb Potters and Sheepscott River Pottery.
The Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen is the fiscally sponsored entity which will be dedicated to the task of historical documentation of Andersen Design’s vintage work, and eventually to archive and document the greater history of selected American Designer craftsmen, with a special emphasis on our local region.
The archival project is very ambitious, and we would hope to generate adequate funding to train and hire others to photograph the work and maintain the data base, with eventual plans to include works of other American designer craftsmen in the data base. It’s an exciting historical narrative to produce in these changing times.

Funding of of $5000.00 or more to the Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen, will pay for moving and location expenses and contribute to other startup cost such as establishing a website, and hiring legal and accounting services.
The Andersen Design American Phoenix is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-­profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of The Andersen Design American Phoenix must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. You can also donate online, the fastest and easiest way.

“If you prefer, you can also donate by check. Please send contributions to Andersen Design. PO Box 246,5 Andersen Rd, East Boothbay, Maine 04544. Checks should be made payable to Fractured Atlas, with ANDERSE DESIGN AMERICAN PHOENIX PROJECT in the memo line.”
Donations can be made online at Fractured Atlas.com. Search “Andersen Design” and the project link will display.

A Tradition of Innovation

In 1952, when, Weston and Brenda Andersen, started Andersen Design, then called Ceramics by Andersen, there was no National Foundation for the Arts, and there was no ensuing wealth re-distributive non-profit arts industry. Even the trade shows had not yet been invented. Andersen Design was started as a leap of faith.
The fact that Andersen Design was born in the age before government and non-profit support for the arts spread across the land, and even before the trade shows provided a venue for reaching national buyers, is an important aspect of Andersen Design’s historical significance- it was the extraordinary realization of an artistic lifestyle created on a shoestring at a time when there was no larger social structure supporting the arts. My parents created the lifestyle within the free enterprise system, which has, since the emergence of the non-profit arts industry, been widely characterized as a choice motivated exclusively by profit.

Today the concept of “public benefit ” is undergoing transformation with the introduction of the social enterprise. Social enterprises are defined as private enterprises, having a primary reason to exist for which their wealth creating function is the means to an end and not the end in itself. In an age when entitlement systems of every sort are overburdening governmental systems with ever escalating deficits, it is important to bring to life the stories of the free enterprise system which was the natural economic system emergent from the American political philosophy, when it was first formulated during colonial times.

The Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen will bring such a history to light as it focuses not only on the exquisite and individualistic end products of Andersen Design and the greater American designer craftsmen movement. but also present educational shows and forums about the hand crafted making process in many disciplinary fields.

A Value Placed On The Work Process In and Of Itself

In 1952, Weston Neil Andersen resigned from as the Dean of the Akron Art Institute to start a ceramic production company because he loved making pottery more. It was the first step in a long tradition of taking the road less travelled. I have posted Dad’s  1952 statement to that effect on andersendesign.biz. You will also find the 1964 letter in which Dad is dealing with a circumstance which mirrors our own. He has expanded his production facility and is seeking capital for operations.
Shortly after arriving in the area, 
Dad was the last acting president of a local craft organization. We have in our possession a handwritten journal of that organization. Dad was also a founding member of the Boothbay Art Foundation, which is an important cultural icon of the Boothbay Region, supporting the work of many artists, both locally and state-wide. The Andersen Design Museum is the continuation of our family history of involvement in supporting the communities of arts and crafts.

Sleeping Sandpiper by Elise Isabel Andersen 2016

Andersen Design (as distinct entity from the Museum) is the ceramic art, design and ceramic slip casting, free enterprise s-corporation, established by Weston and Brenda Andersen in 1952, the legacy inherited by my sister, Elise, and myself. Andersen Design established production as an art form in the early fifties, a decade before Andy Warhol invented the idea.

Our company has produced an unusually abundant quantity of classic and market proven ceramic slip cast designs in functional ware and wild life sculptures. With its founding philosophy of creating a hand-made product, affordable to the middle classes, Andersen Design was established on social enterprise terms, before the concept of social enterprises was articulated by Freer Spreckley in 1978.

  • Andersen Design’s assets are the vintage work and intellectual property comprised of an unusually large inventory of ceramic slip cast designs, as well as the Andersen Design brand itself. 

We are planning on launching a Kickstarter project to fund operations of our new ceramic slip casting studio, currently under construction. Our Kickstarter project is still in the planning stage, but we hope to launch it in a matter of weeks. Part of the planning process is to line up promises to pledge to the Kickstarter project on day one. If a Kickstarter project is successful, it must start with a great show of support on the first day. Please email us if you are able to commit to pledge on the first day of our KIckstarter fundraiser- or have another interest in supporting our Kickstarter project.

  • We are also looking for video making talent to make the video for our Kisckstarter project, young talent looking for exposure will be considered.

Bob and June Rose will be The Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen. June Rose is currently the manager of the Boothbay Region Art Foundation, which was founded in 1964 by a group which included my Dad. Both Bob and June are genuinely generous and good hearted.

We are seeking other board members with complimentary talent and a mutually compatible vision and philosophy.

Your donation to help us with the initial expenses of getting this Museum started will be greatly appreciated impetus at this crucial formative moment. Help us to get to $5000.00 in the next week!

It is our hopeful dream that the Andersen Design flagship location can be bought back from the bank and made into a historically preserved location for The Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen, similar to what has been done with Russel Wrights former home,.(see Manitoga.org/ ). preserving the memory of a culture that seems to be receding from the Boothbay Peninsula to make way for the plans of new and well financed interest groups. That is, however, currently beyond the scope of current transitional needs.

Thank you for taking the time to read and consider our request for funding.

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