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Whimsies and Whittling:  An American Folk Art
2pm, Sunday, January 28, 2007

    Join carver John Larsen, Chicago Suburban Antiques Dealers Association (CSADA) member, at Garfield Farm Museum, Sunday, January 28, 2007 at 2pm, for a lecture on Whimsies throughout the 19th century.  Whimsies, a device, object or work of art created on a whim, have been John Larsen?s passion for 30 years. In addition to a discussion the history of these fanciful objects and Larson will demonstrate the process of making them.  This lecture is part of an on-going series hosted by Garfield Farm Museum and CSADA to advance the public?s knowledge and awareness of history as revealed through antiques.

    Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines “whimsies” as “a fanciful or fantastic device, object, or creation esp. in writing or art.”  Whimsies have been around as long as there has been an imaginative mind to create them.  However, their popularity was amplified during the 19th century because of the increased popularity and portability of the pocket knife.  Anything from the carving of a little man out of wood to the making of a quaint jewelry box, most of the folk art seen amongst the antique world is some form of whimsy.  In the winter months, when the farmers were not busy with their fields they would often take out their pocket knives and whittle. The resulting works often elicited the “how was that done?”. A classic wooden whimsey is a wooden ball enclosed in a wooden cage all carved from one piece of wood. Wooden chains or wooden pliers are just some of the popular examples.

    The CSDA is a non profit business organization that imposes strict standards on its members for authenticity of their antique pieces and ethical conduct, courtesy, honesty and friendly professional service to the public.  The CSADA has supported Garfield Farm Museum in the past, most recently with a $1000 grant to help purchase the 95 acre Edward Garfield/ Mongerson Brothers Farm in 2002.  The last of the lecture series conducted by CSADA members will be offered in at Garfield Farm Museum February 25th.  All the lectures in this series leading up to the antique show are to benefit the educational cause and Garfield Farm Museum.

    Garfield Farm Museum has been selected by the CSADA to be the beneficiary sponsor of their 50th Fox Valley Antique Show to be held March 10th and 11th, 2007.  Both the museum and CSADA are concerned with the education of the next generation of antique enthusiasts.  If any business or organizations are also interested in support this educational cause, ad space is available for purchase in the show’s program guide.  All ads will benefit Garfield Farm Museum . Amounts vary depending on space desired.  Contact Garfield Farm Museum at (630) 584-8485 for complete details.

    Garfield Farm Museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva, IL, off of Illinois Rt. 38 on Garfield Road. Garfield Farm is a former historically intact 1840s prairie farmstead and teamster inn that is being restored as a working 1840s farm.  There is a $10 donation for the lecture and refreshments are included.  For other lecture information or to R.S.V.P. please contact (630) 584-8485 or email at  Seats are limited, please respond promptly.

For more information about Garfield Farm send an e-mail message to: or call 630/584-8485.