The World Methodist Museum recently received as permanent gifts 10 rare items from Dr. and Mrs. T. Harold Crowder, long time Wesley collectors and Museum supporters and contributors. They are well known for their generosity as well as for the spectacular Wesley collection in their South Boston, Virginia home.
The collecting began in 1957 when Dr. Crowder and his wife, Thelma, moved to Wroughton, Wilshire, England with the Air Force. Thelma spotted a bust of John Wesley in the antiques section of Kensington Church Street , just like one that stood on the mantle of her father’s parsonage most of her lifetime. The bust was purchased and thus began more than 50 years of studying, collecting, and sharing of artifacts as well as information.
“The Museum is honored and humbled at the continuing support of the Crowders,” explains director Jackie Bolden. “This has also been a wonderful legacy as Dr. Crowder originally swapped, donated and worked with Museum founder, Dr. Elmer T. Clark, and still assists today. In addition to the recent gifts and an extensive collection on loan The Crowders also share important information with us as we are working to explore ways to make our exhibits more appealing.”
A print of Wesley by Currier (before being joined by Ives), ceramics that include busts and figurines depicting not only Wesley but the moral life of people Wesley worked to reach, a Wesley wood carving, a rare slate carving of Wesley, and more are part of the recent gifts.