New Project Alert! “In Search of Liberty Hyde Bailey” by John Stempien

Hi, all! Sorry for the silence during my recent two weeks of traveling around the upper Midwest. I’ll have a post together about that journey probably tomorrow, but first, I wanted to take a moment to highlight the beginning of another journey that a good friend of mine, John Stempien, has recently begun.

Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum staff, Summer 2012. That’s John Stempien on the far right, the day we opened an exhibit he curated of Bailey’s original photography developed straight from the museum’s glass plate negatives, titled “Through the Lens of L. H. Bailey: Plants, Places, and People.” To the left of John are Derek Nightingale, Lauren Denny, and me on the far left.

I won’t say much about it, other than that John (or Stemp, as he is also affectionately known) has always been on a sort of journey with Liberty Hyde Bailey’s writings and life story, much as I have been for the past seven years. John was the one who got me hooked on Bailey, though, as the Director of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum when I came there with questions back in the summer of 2010, and he has been living with the old Dean of Horticulture’s poetry and philosophy for quite a bit longer than I have. It was under his influence that I joined the museum as an intern in 2011, and then as Associate Curator in 2012, and in 2013 he handed over the director’s reins to be shared by then-Curator Lauren Denny and me. This summer he is going on a journey of sorts, “In Search of Liberty Hyde Bailey,” and he just launched a video series of that name with a short two-minute “preface.” I hope you enjoy it, and consider following his YouTube account to keep up with this project as it unfolds in the coming months.


For some context, see my intro post. To get in touch, use my website.

The archive archive: Intro | Days 1–3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Interlude| Day 8 | Day 9