In small-town New England, long before television and the internet, the prevailing custom was to provide your own entertainment, often in the form of a performance at the local grange or Town Hall. Since there wasn’t much money for costumes or props, the plays relied on all purpose scenic backdrops-painted canvases of local scenes and interest. And they were glorious. Many of these minor masterpieces of vernacular art still survive and are presented in all their glory in this richly illustrated book celebrating the colorful and memorable painted curtains that graced the stages of countless New England towns.
A remarkable team of conservators from “Curtains Without Borders” confronted and conquered a century of dirt, damage, and neglect to restore hundreds of these historic theater curtains to their rightful place at the center of community life. Here revealed in exquisite photographs are these monumental and glorious canvases, so often hidden in plain sight.
…an art form that desperately needed a champion. Along the way, [Hadsel’s] shown that these works and the buildings where they make their home aren’t strictly relics from the past. There’s a place and an importance for them in the modern world, too. Perhaps even a critical one.– Yankee Magazine