My Adopted Aunts: The Lives, Works, and Influence of Eleanor Vance and Charlotte Yale

  • October 12, 2023 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Reuter Center - UNCA/OLLI

    300 Campus View Road
    Asheville, North Carolina 28804
Ticket Price Free This event is now over
Description

Join the Asheville Museum of History Thursday, October 12 at 6pm live in the Reuter Center at UNCA or via Zoom. This event airs live and will be recorded.

 

Arts and Crafts historian Bruce E. Johnson will share the history behind his book Biltmore Industries and Tryon Toy-Makers and Wood-Carvers: The Lives and Works of Eleanor Vance and Charlotte Yale. Fresh from the Moody Bible College, young Eleanor Vance and Charlotte Yale arrived in Biltmore Village in 1901 and soon were deeply involved with All Souls’ Church. Drawing upon her extensive training as a woodworker, Vance began teaching young men and women how to construct and carved exquisite walnut serving trays, bookends, bowls, picture frames, hearth brushes, and fireplace bellows.

 

Edith and George Vanderbilt provided the fledgling Arts and Crafts industry with the workshop space, encouragement, and support necessary for Vance and Yale to open and manage Biltmore Estate Industries in 1905. They soon added the weaving of wool homespun cloth to their inventory in their shop across from the railway depot.

 

But George Vanderbilt’s unexpected death in 1914 left his widow Edith unprepared to manage their 125,000-acre estate, 250-room house, and all of Biltmore Village. Sensing their time at Biltmore Estate Industries was about to end, in 1915 Vance and Yale moved to Tryon. Two years later, Edith Vanderbilt sold the Industries to Fred L. Seely, president of the Grove Park Inn. In 1917, he began moving the woodworkers and weavers into the five buildings he constructed in what is now Grovewood Village, adjacent to the grounds of the Grove Park Inn.

 

In Tryon, Vance and Yale again began teaching young men and women not only how to carve walnut bowls, frames, and bookends, but also to make colorful children’s toys. From 1915 until their retirement in 1943, the women led Tryon Toy-Makers and Wood-Carvers, creating hundreds of carved items and painted toys which have become collectors’ items today.

 

About the Speaker:

Bruce Johnson moved to North Carolina in 1985 and soon founded the annual National Arts and Crafts Conference and Shows at the historic 1913 Grove Park Inn. In 1910, he was recognized with the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. For the past ten years he has been gathering research material for his new 200-page, hardback book, which features 239 vintage and color photographs, descriptions of nearly 500 of their works, and fourteen of the identification shopmarks used at Biltmore Estate Industries, Biltmore Industries, and Tryon Toy-Makers and Wood-Carvers.

 

Additional information is available on Facebook at Biltmore Industries & Tryon Toy-Makers and Wood-Carvers

 

Tickets: $5 for AMoH/OLLI members/ $10 for General Admission. We also have no-cost, community-funded tickets available. We want our events to be accessible to as many people as possible. If you are able please consider making a donation along with your ticket purchase. These donations are placed in our Community Fund, which allows us to offer tickets at no cost to those who would not be able to attend otherwise.

 

Viewing: Registrants will receive a confirmation email with Zoom link with which to view the program. For those attending in person, no further steps are required. This event is held in the Reuter Center at UNCA (300 Campus View Rd, Asheville).

For those attending in person, please register for and print a UNCA Visitor Parking Pass. If you do not have access to a printer, please email your pass to me and I will print/bring them to the event.

(Images: Biltmore Industries and Tryon Toy-Makers and Wood-Carvers: The Lives and Works of Eleanor Vance and Charlotte Yale, courtesy Bruce Johnson)

 

For questions, email Trevor Freeman at education@ashevillehistory.org

Date & Time

Thu, Oct 12, 2023 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Venue Details

Reuter Center - UNCA/OLLI

300 Campus View Road
Asheville, North Carolina 28804 Reuter Center - UNCA/OLLI
Asheville Museum of History

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