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Dodge grandson creates MBH Press

Monday, June 20, 2011
Dodge grandson creates MBH Press

John F. Van Lennep, the grandson of John and Matilda Dodge, has made a significant gift to Meadow Brook Hall to launch its new publishing program, the Meadow Brook Press. The new press is a tremendous addition to Meadow Brook Hall. It will greatly improve the interpretation of the hall’s history and the educational value of Oakland University’s very own historic estate and museum.

The Meadow Brook Press will advance the mission of the hall by researching and publishing information about the Dodge Motor Car Company, Meadow Brook Farms and Meadow Brook Hall. Resulting works will include publications on the building’s architecture, construction, landscape and collections as well as the operational and social history of the Dodge and Wilson families during an exciting period in American history, the 1920s through the 1960s.

“Creating and sharing new publications with friends of Meadow Brook and the general public will go a long way toward fulfilling my grandmother’s educational vision for her legacy — bringing to life stories of the farms and gardens, the family, the house and her vast collections,” Van Lennep says.

Mr. Van Lennep’s gift makes possible the publishing of the first three titles from the press: an illustrated coffee table book on Meadow Brook Hall and Gardens; an illustrated history of Meadow Brook Farms; and a children’s coloring book with images of the Dodge Stables. “We came up with the books we felt would fill the most critical interpretive needs with creative approaches that would be intriguing and important to both visitors and museum researchers and educators,” says Geoff Upward, executive director of Meadow Brook Hall.

Future published works will include print, video and electronic media, which will be available through the museum shop, online retailers, libraries and bookstores.

Mr. Van Lennep has been a longtime supporter of Meadow Brook Hall, having previously funded projects to restore the entry bridge and create the public archives room on the entertainment level of the house. The new Meadow Brook Press is an additional important component to preserving and interpreting this valuable historic site.