Saving Mary Borgstrom’s Legacy: A Great Potter

in story •  4 months ago 

This is a whopper of a true story.

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Although not my personal story, it is so poignant and heartwarming that I want to share the love, so that others can enjoy it, too.

Most importantly, Mary’s story will now be preserved forever on Steemit’s blockchain.

(I feel that it’s the least that I can do, to help preserve the art history and Mary’s legacy for future generations to discover.)

Mary Borgstrom is a famous Canandian Potter.

She was born in 1916 and she’s in her 104th year.

You read that correctly.

Mary Borgstrom is still living.

Today, she resides in an Alberta Nursing Home.

In her later years, Mary was considered a hoarder.

Neither of Mary’s two children were interested in owning their Mother’s home or its contents.

Instead, they called a company named Curiosity Incorporated and asked the owner of that company to come to the house, look through its contents and potentially buy some vintage items that still have value.

The house was packed. Many rooms were completely impassable.

Curiosity Incorporated bought the entire house and all its content for $20,000. Then, they set about to sort, organize, donate and restore.

They documented everything on YouTube.

Making order out of chaos.

It was a huge job and it is why Mary and her family agreed to sell the property so inexpensivly.

Comparable houses (in the same neighbourhood) are valued at 200,000+.

This is the first video in a series, as they work through the restoration of the property. If you start here, you’ll get a sense for the magnitude of the task that was undertaken by Curiosity Incorporated.

(Posted to YouTube by: Curiosity Incorporated on January 13, 2019.)

What a life!

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What a legacy in art!

Many pieces of Mary’s original artwork and hand-drawn illustrations were literally uncovered, in the clean up.

Then, Curiosity Incorporated went to visit Mary and they interviewed her, too!

(Posted to YouTube by Curiosity Incorporated on Feb. 20, 2019.)

The best bit:

Curiosity Incorporated has announced that they’ve put the wheels in motion to have Mary’s house recognized as a heritage site by the Canadian government.

With any luck, it will become a fine art gallery, highlighting the significance of Canadian artists who specialize in ceramics and pottery.

~ Rebecca

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Wow! What a treasure trove of history and art and the passion of a woman!! The story itself gave me goosebumps and I haven't even watched the film yet. It also brought a tear to my eye to hear that the family didn't want to own any of her items.

While I understand that the passions of one person may not be shared by her children, it seems sad, somehow that her efforts in life meant nothing to them. Now lookit there, I'm crying lol. Aww

What a beautiful thing it would be if they do convert her home to an art gallery <3 <3

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Oh Gawd @tamaralovelace! @knarly327 and I have been following this story as it has been unfolding. We’ve both lost it on more than one occasion and when you listen to Mary shed more light on how she made her art, who she rubbed shoulders with and even describe how she would forage for her own clay, you quickly realize that all of it was on the brink of being lost and forgotten. Mary deserves to be recognized and if it were up to me, I’d award her the “Order of Canada” before she gets off this planet.

what a great story, such gorgeous and spirited work, what a great life she has lead!
And I have so much respect for what Curiosity Inc offers...yes I know they make money at it, but they clearly are patient and uncover/preserve histories that would otherwise be lost.

Great post @rebeccaryan!

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I also love that she came to her passion later in life....very inspiring for me!!

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Hi @natureofbeing! I am so glad that you got to see this and that you felt moved and inspired by Mary and her life. We started watching the story (as it was unfolding) in the middle of January. The latest piece was the interview with Mary. It’s just a good story and I hope that Mary gets to see her house fixed up as a gallery, someday. ;)

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Yes a gallery or foundation-museum would be great ways to honor her life!

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Hi @natureofbeing!

Well, I couldn’t let it rest.
I researched what I would need to do to nominate Mary for an Order of Canada Award.
I started the process, wrote a few letters, contacted an art gallery or two; I even wrote to Les Graff (another very accomplished Canadian artist who is 83) to personally ask him if he’d agree to be one of my 3 references who can validate that Mary and her accomplishments are real. Then, I set about explaining to my government why I felt that Mary should be recognized and received this honour. Big task to put all the art shows she’s participated in together in a timeline and then all the publicity she has received.
Once I get my nomination submission, entered into the public record, the Canadian government will take a full year to research her, contact the references and make a decision. These awards are presented twice a year, so the earliest Mary could receive her award will be January 2020 and if we don’t make the first presentation, then it would be July 2020.
At the very least, she’ll at least know that she was nominated for the highest honour that a Canadian can receive in my country for her 50 year contribution to Canadian art and culture. Mary was still making pottery into her nineties. Good thing that I’ve taught myself how to blog because all the skills that I have been honing for the last 2 years have come together for this random act of kindness. Very cool! Lol!

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@rebeccaryan, this is AWESOME!!!! GOOD ON YOU for this passionate gesture of support for Mary!! Very cool.

That's treasure! And wow! Thanks for sharing!

Posted using Partiko Android

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It’s reassuring to know that there are still good people out there that are doing good things. We are all in this together. ;)

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I agree! You always put a smile on. My face!

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oooh ver nice my friend story and life
greetings to u

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