Bedford Historical Society Hosts Martha Stewart, Influential Designer

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Martha Stewart at the Bedford Historical Society's silent auction and benefit, which supports the numerous properties the society maintains. Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza
Martha Stewart introduces Jeffrey Bilhuber, author of "The Way Home: Reflections on American Beauty," at the Bedford Historical Society's silent auction and benefit. Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza
Jeffrey Bilhuber discusses his latest book, "The Way Home: Reflections on American Beauty," and the projects photographed in the book, which took place in Bedford. Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza

BEDFORD, N.Y. — The Bedford Historical Society's silent auction and benefit was attended by Martha Stewart and influential designer Jeffrey Bilhuber Saturday evening. Stewart introduced Bilhuber, who spoke about and held a signing for his latest book on design, "The Way Home: Reflections on American Beauty."

"The Bedford Historical Society does so, so much to preserve and protect this beautiful town, its rich history and its beautiful landscape," said Stewart. The design mogul and Bedford resident said she'd been visiting the town since 1961, when a then sister-in-law lived on The Narrows Road.

"We would come up, and drive around and dream about owning a little something of Bedford. It's so nice to now be part of this community and own a little something of this lovely, lovely place," Stewart said.

Bilhuber, who spoke about his latest book at the benefit, has been featured in major design and architecture magazines, and has amassed an illustrious client list. Bilhuber has designed for David and Iman Bowie, Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, and actor Mariska Hargitay of "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" fame, among many others.

Discussing his new book, Bilhuber said the first project, "American Pastoral," was shot in Bedford.

"This is a project which is such a perfect example of finding your way home, of three generations sharing a property together in a community they love deeply. This is the first project we photographed for this book. This is Bedford, this is what I think about when I think about this neighborhood, this green, this square. That families are knitted together by bridal paths, and dreams, and optimistic thoughts about how the community comes together," said Bilhuber, before going on to discuss the design aspects of, "American Pastoral."

Discussing why the society chose a contemporary designer to highlight its fall benefit, executive director Evelyne Ryan said, "Jeffrey's book is about the attachments people have to their family heirlooms, personal collections and histories. The historical society's mission is the same, except we do it on a larger scale."

"In both cases, our respective goals are the preservation and appreciation of one's history," she added.

Admission to the society's antiques show is $10. It is open Sunday, Oct. 14. A number of dealers at the show sell contemporary items as well as antiques, the society said, noting it wanted to offer "something for everyone."

For more information about the antiques show, see our article

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