William Munroe lived a long, productive life, spending much of his time crafting heirloom furniture and clock cases in his Concord workshop.
The Concord Museum explores Munroe's life and career through the objects he made in The Best Workman in the Shop, a special exhibition on view now through March 23, 2014.
The grandson of Patriot activists, Munroe was born in 1778 and arrived in Concord in 1800, with a set of tools and patterns for making clock cases and $3.40 in cash. Forty years later, he proudly recorded in his well-kept ledger that he had more than $20,000 in assets -- quite an achievement for a craftsman at that time.
Munroe crafted fine cases for the clocks that his brother Daniel Munroe designed. He also made sideboards, chests of drawers and fire screens for family members and neighbors. Boston retailers had him under contract when he briefly abandoned cabinetmaking to manufacture the first wooden-cased graphite lead pencils made in the U.S.
Several lectures and workshops will be held in conjunction with the exhibit.
The museum is located at 53 Cambridge Turnpike, Concord. Call 978-369-9763 or visit concordmuseum.org for information and hours.
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- COLORFUL WORKS: Vyu Magazine presents New Work by Ilene Richard, an exhibition featuring her vivid illustrations and paintings. It is on view Sept. 22-Oct. 28 at Centro Restaurant and Bar, 24 Market St., Lowell. Meet the artist at a reception on Sunday, Sept. 22, 1-3 p.m.
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