Digging Through the Mold for Historic Gems

by Andy Kraushaar and David Erickson, Wisconsin Historical Society

An assorted stack of art moldering in Sid's abandoned house (August, 2015).
An assorted stack of art moldering in Sid’s abandoned house (August, 2015).

In July 2015, Mark Fraire of the Dane County Cultural affairs Commission invited staff members of the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) to review the contents of the Sid Boyum house at 237 Waubesa Street. The County had recently taken over the house for non-payment of taxes and had planned to sell the house and all of  its contents at public auction in September of 2015.  Mark wanted to save the art within the house and asked if WHS could make an assessment.

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A History and Tour of Sid Boyum’s Backyard

by Theresa Marche, Friends of Sid Boyum conservator

Sid's backyard as it appeared in the 1970s.
Sid’s backyard as it appeared in the 1970s.

It all started out slowly, but inexorably at 237 Waubesa Street, a small residential property on the east side of Madison, WI. Owner,  photographer, and neighborhood eccentric, Sid Boyum had a thing for Asian cultures, Japanese in particular. So of course he would build a Japanese-style teahouse and garden in his small backyard. Early photos show an open lawn with a small red and yellow teahouse in the back corner, with a large torii gate between two small (but deep) fishponds. A tiny bridge, just for show, and an open Japanese-styled picnic pavilion completed the scene. There was Sid in a kimono, to welcome guests to one of the many parties enjoyed in that setting.

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Our Capital Fundraising Campaign is Under Way!

Help Us Save Sid’s Art!

Sid with giant fishing lure.
We’re after a big catch! Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

We’re trying to raise $20,000 by September to pay off the back taxes on Sid’s house and studio and acquire the property from Dane County.
Donate today!

Save the Date!

Our fundraising kickoff party is scheduled for April 3, 2016 at the Harmony Bar and Grill, from 4-7 pm.  Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Get your tickets now!
Eventbrite - Friends of Sid Boyum Capital Campaign Kickoff

Continue reading Our Capital Fundraising Campaign is Under Way!