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The Unlikely Story of the Folly Cove Guild

Posted: 8/21/16

... the Best Designers You've Never Heard of. Led by beloved children's author Virginia Lee Burton, this group of mostly untrained women created immortal designs.

By Cara Giaimo, Atlas Obscura

One by one, the prints unfold before you. One shows sheep leaping in the grass, another, children on a tree-hung swing, the moon shifting above them. All are charming, sophisticated, and unbelievably detailed. They take the essence of everyday objects and activities, and unspool them into mesmerizing patterns.

No matter how much you may want them, though, you can't get these prints on Etsy. In fact, you can't get them anywhere.

They live mere miles from where they were produced, at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester—the last bastion of the nearly-forgotten Folly Cove Designers. Helmed by a children's book illustrator and comprised of her previously untrained friends and neighbors, the Folly Cove Designers were hardworking, tight-knit, and sincere—so sincere, they eventually voted themselves into obscurity.

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