History Exhibition Recalls Holyoke’s Industrial Past

Echoes of Industry:
The Death and Rebirth of Holyoke’s Mills
Jan – Feb, 2014

With 25 mills near the end of the 19th century, Holyoke was the largest paper manufacturer. Today these mills are reminders of another age – victims of fire, demolition or a new purpose. What remains offers a silent dignity that demands to be recorded.

This January and February, Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke remembers the city’s past through a display of artwork by Eric Broudy. “Echoes of Industry: The Death and Rebirth of Holyoke’s Mills” contains photographs Broudy took of the old, run-down mills – their exteriors and vast interiors, the “architectural details with rubble and shattered windows” – and a video installation featuring footage of Holyoke mills being given new life, through the development of creative spaces like art galleries, dance and yoga studios, offices, restaurants, even homes, in these once-mighty industrial structures…

The installation captures “new images of Holyoke, showing these businesses and opportunity sprouting along the canals like new shoots and plants after a forest having burned.” While Broudy’s photographs serve as a reminder of history and of the inevitable passage of time (and its effects on the power and strength of men), his video installation suggests that new, conscious, and innovative ways of living are returning to the city, and that, through them, a new form of industry is being shaped.

Meet artist Eric Broudy at the “Echoes of Industry” opening reception at Wistariahurst on Friday, January 10, 2014 between 6pm and 8pm. He will discuss the research and work that led to this exhibition. Admission to the gallery is $3.

Students of American history – and people of all ages hoping to learn more about Holyoke and Pioneer Valley history – will find this an enriching experience. In addition to this exhibition, Wistariahurst offers house tours, and their calendar is full of other local history lectures and events happening this winter. For more information: www.wistariahurst.org. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot St. Holyoke, MA.

[Submitted Photo]

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