Farmstead Arts Center in Basking Ridge plans grand opening

Antiques appraisal, music, tours, art exhibit planned in fall

Published: Jul 8th, 1:10 PM

BERNARDS TWP.  – The Farmstead Arts Center at the Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead in Basking Ridge will celebrate its official grand opening and formal dedication on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 9 and 10.

The weekend festivities, which are held in conjunction with Somerset County’s Weekend Journey Through the Past, will include a formal dedication and ribbon cutting event at 3 p.m. Saturdy, Oct. 9, with members of the Stelle family, public officials, board members and the public.

The center, which is located at 450 King George Road, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, with activities scheduled throughout the weekend.

The opening weekend will be highlighted by an antiques appraisal event, “Antiques Alley,” to be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10.  Martine White of Bernards Appraisal Associates will appraise items brought in by the public at the Farmhouse.

Anyone interested in having their items appraised can preregister by sending their name and a brief description of the item to the Farmstead at, or by fax at (908) 766-9330.  Items may also be registered at the show.  All items will be appraised on a first come first served basis. The appraisal fee per item is $10 for the first item and $5 per each additional item.

Martine White, who has been appraising personal property in the area since 1988 and has been a featured appraiser on WMTR’s “Meet the Expert” Radio Program, is a senior certified appraiser of antiques and decorative arts with the American Society of Appraisers and the Appraisers Association of America. Items which may be appraised include antique furniture, silver, paintings, decorative art, Oriental rugs and other family treasures.

This event will be the Farmstead’s first major fund-raiser. Proceeds will go to the general operations and upkeep of Farmstead Arts Center.

The opening weekend activities will also include tours of the historic Farmhouse and English Barn, musical entertainment by Elefonte School of Music, plein air painting, an art exhibit, and children’s crafts in the barn. An original 18th century style mural by Caren Frost Olmstead of Basking Ridge and her team of master student muralists, which will be on permanent display in the Farmhouse, will also be unveiled to the public.

The Farmstead Arts Center is a non-profit center for the fine, performing and practical arts located on four acres overlooking the Passaic River and adjacent to the 40-acre Farmstead Park in Bernards Township. The Farmstead will begin offering art and music lessons, art shows, concerts, community events and studio space in November and will present individual art shows showcasing the work of New Jersey Artists between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The center is housed in an historic 18th century farmhouse and English Barn listed on the national and state historic registers. The grand opening represents the culmination of 11 years of renovation efforts by The Friends of the Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead, through grant funding by the state of New Jersey, Somerset County, Bernards Township, the Somerset Hills Historical Society, and countless volunteer hours by members of the community.

In May, The Historical Society of Somerset Hills honored the Farmstead Arts Center with the 2010 Historic Preservation Award in special recognition of the 250th anniversary of Bernards Township.

For more information on the opening weekend, classes, teaching and events at the Farmstead, or to join the Friends of the KMS Farmstead, visit, or write to

Article reproduced courtesy of the Bernardsville News : Click Here for the actual article

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