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Brookfield Craft Center

Since its founding in 1952 and incorporation in 1954, Brookfield Craft Center has been shaped by visionary leaders, artists and supporters. Those who paved the way for the craftsman of not just their own era, but those of tomorrow. A legacy or memorial gift to Brookfield Craft Center is a wonderful way to remember a loved one or perpetuate your own family name, while honoring a tradition of excellence in creativity, innovation and fine craft. Your generosity today can help perpetuate the Craft Center's future and ensure that BCC is able to continue to preserve the skills of traditional and modern craftsmanship and enable creativity and personal growth in people from all walks of life.

Listing the Brookfield Craft Center in your will is considered a charitable bequest. You can include Brookfield Craft Center for a percentage of the estate, a specific amount, or designating specific assets of stock or real estate. Tribute or memorial gifts are special way to mark an occasion or honor/memorialize friends or relatives. For more information on legacy or memorial gifts, please contact

Recent Gifts

In Memory of Marilyn B. Cisek (Chonko) 1942 – 2017



About the artist:

Marilyn B. Cisek (Chonko) received her formal education in the Arts with a BA from UCONN and post graduate studies in Fine Arts at USC and Old Dominion.  After college she studied abroad with artists in Japan and North Africa. In the sixties she designed knitwear and needlework kits for Knit Wit of Southern California and taught extensively in the Southeast and on the Gulf Coast. She received on the job training with the best and brightest at Creative Arts Workshop, Farmington Valley Art Center, Brookfield Craft Center, and Guilford Handcrafts Center in Connecticut. Her award-winning work has been exhibited in such venues as the Cheeseborough Pond Gallery in Connecticut, the Williamsburg Gallery in Virginia, On the Hill in Yorktown, Studio 21, twentieth Century Gallery and P. Kanes in Iwakuni, Japan.

Marilyn was a vibrant part of the Brookfield Craft Center Community for a number of years and held the institution close to her heart. While her own creative endeavors and life led her out of Connecticut, she often spoke fondly of the time that she spent on BCC’s historic campus. In accordance with her wishes, her husband, William has made a significant gift to the Craft Center in her memory.

Learn more about Marilyn, her life and work –>

Buster Shaw Scholarship for Woodturning

Buster Shaw Woodturning Scholarship

Buster Shaw, former instructor, board member and long time friend of the Brookfield Craft Center has endowed a scholarship in Woodturning with the center.

Members of the community are welcomed to make donations in lieu of flowers and to honor Buster’s commitment to sharing his love of the art of Woodturning with others. A notice of your donation will be sent to the family and all contributions to the scholarship fund are fully tax deductible.

The Brookfield Craft Center is proud to facilitate this opportunity to honor Buster’s memory and offer students the chance to learn new skills and gain an appreciation for the creative process specific to wood turning. Each year the Brookfield Craft Center will award three scholarships, one in each of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters of the calendar year. The scholarship will cover all tuition and materials fees. If you are interested in applying for the scholarship download the application with instructions here. Deadlines to apply are the first day of March, June and September.

Donations to the fund may be made by clicking the button below.

Hilda Kraus – Mid-Century Modern Craftsman 1915 – 2014

Hilda at workHilda Kraus, a well-known designer, artist, jeweler, enamellist and metal work designer, was born in New York City in 1915. She had a B.A. from Hunter College 1935 and completed her post graduate studies at International Academy of Art, Salzburg, Austria, in 1967, 72, 77. Ms. Kraus served as an apprentice to a Danish silversmith for 3 years. and studied traditional enameling methods in the great centers of Europe (France, Italy, Germany). She at one time had shops in N.Y.C, Connecticut and Maine. When she moved to Westport in the 1950’s she maintained her studio in her home. Hilda spent many hours teaching and taking classes at the Brookfield Craft Center, as well as being a part of both solo and joint exhibitions there. Hilda was a lifetime member of the Silvermine Guild of Artists and a Master Craftsman as awarded by the Society for Connecticut Craftsman. During her lifetime, Hilda was the recipient of many awards and prizes for her work both here and in Europe, especially for her work in cloisonné enamels. Her work is in the collections of the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse; the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; and the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington.

In 1946, her work was featured in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art called Modern Handmade Jewelry, one of the earliest and most influential jewelry exhibitions in the postwar period. She was also awarded a purchase prize in the seminal exhibition Enamels ’70 organized by the Craft Alliance of St. Louis.

Understanding the vision and importance of the Brookfield Craft Center as an institution of fine craft and catalyst for creativity, Ms. Kraus left a legacy gift to the BCC upon her death in 2014. Through the generosity of her long-time friend and Brookfield Craft Center supporter, Nell Mullen, a retrospective exhibition of her life’s work was featured in the Lynn Tendler Bignell gallery at the Craft Center in April of 2017.