Approximately twenty miles north of Dickeyville, Wisconsin, Jacob Baker (c. 1880–1939) built a series of embellished miniature houses thought to have been inspired by the nearby Dickeyville Grotto. Baker was a carpenter who built houses throughout the Mississippi River Valley around Menominee, Illinois. He also made a number of “dream houses” that typically stood just a few feet tall.
Baker had a fondness for collecting figurines, radio tubes, bits of crockery, furniture knobs, shells, mirrors, and small toys—all of which found a home in his multi-gabled structures. This dream house is named the DeSoto House because it stood in the lobby of the DeSoto House Hotel in Galena, Illinois. Before coming to the Arts Center in 2006, it received significant conservation. Where possible, surface elements were replaced if lost, or the conservator created gray “blanks” where a replacement component could not be found.
Scholars, artists, preservationists, educators, activists, art historians, collectors and devotees will delve into the complex subject of artist-built environments during a three-day conference at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.
Through a variety of performances, panels, and workshops, attendees will share new ideas and broaden the collective knowledge and appreciation of this unique style of art making that is the focus of a yearlong series of exhibitions at the Arts Center.
The conference, titled The Road Less Traveled, is the third Divine Disorder program of the National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT). In addition to the Arts Center and NCPTT, Kohler Foundation Inc. is a hosting partner for the conference.
Sep. 27, 2017 - Sep. 29, 2017Register