Historic Deerfield Fall Forum: The Arts and Crafts Movement in America’s Northeast
Friday, September 29 & Saturday, September 30
Earlier this year, Historic Deerfield acquired a masterpiece of Arts and Crafts furniture constructed by Madeline Yale Wynne (1847-1918), Deerfield’s leading proponent of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Made in 1903 and known as Garden of Hearts, the chest, with finely crafted, forged, hammered, carved, and painted elements, is an important example of Arts and Crafts furniture by a groundbreaking female artist. It is currently on display in the exhibition Garden of Hearts: Madeline Yale Wynne and Deerfield’s Arts and Crafts Movement at Historic Deerfield’s Flynt Center of Early New England Life through March 3, 2024. To mark the occasion of this important acquisition, Historic Deerfield’s Fall Forum will explore the Arts and Crafts Movement in the northeastern region of the United States.
Detail of coverlet, Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework, 1898
Artists and architects in America’s northeast made significant contributions to the burgeoning Arts and Crafts Movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, producing work that is still keenly studied. Arts and Crafts communities flourished not only in urban centers such as Boston and New York City, but also in regional communities including Rose Valley, Pennsylvania; East Aurora and Woodstock, New York; and Marblehead, Gardner, Worcester, and Deerfield, Massachusetts. In many of these locations, artists looked for inspiration not only in the work of their domestic and international contemporaries, but also in the early American or colonial past. In doing so, they produced original works of art that expanded the corpus of American Arts and Crafts design.
Historic Deerfield’s 2023 Fall Forum, The Arts and Crafts Movement in America’s Northeast, aims to address and celebrate this rich history by exploring the variety of artwork—from woodworking to metalwork—produced by urban and rural crafters of the northeast. The program features an impressive group of lecturers who will share new insights and information on a variety of topics, from the Marblehead Pottery of Marblehead, Massachusetts, to the Elverhoj Arts and Crafts colony of Milton-on-Hudson, New York. Keynote speaker Dr. Jonathan Clancy, Director of Collections and Preservation at The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, will discuss the rise of Arts and Crafts metalwork. The forum will also offer optional special demonstrations in the areas of metalwork and bookbinding.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
9:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. Registration. Lobby, Flynt Center of Early New England Life.
Participants who arrive early are welcome to walk The Street and enjoy Historic Deerfield’s house museums. At the Flynt Center, the museum displays decorative arts in its Collections Study Gallery and in several exhibitions: Celebrating the Fiber Arts: The Helen Geier Flynt Textile Gallery; Into the Woods: Crafting Early American Furniture; Daniel Clay (1770-1848): Greenfield Cabinetmaker; and Garden of Hearts: Madeline Yale Wynne and Deerfield’s Arts and Crafts Movement.
Before the Forum begins, optional demonstrations (additional fee required) are offered on Friday afternoon, September 29.
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Optional Demonstration: “Metalsmithing Traditions: An Examination of Madeline Yale Wynne’s Copper Poppy Bowl and how it was made.” Suzanne Pugh, Metalsmith, Jeweler, and Educator. Bartels Seminar Room, Flynt Center of Early New England Life.
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Optional Demonstration: “Arts and Crafts Bookbinding: The Work of Ellen Gates Starr.” Barbara B. Blumenthal, Independent Bookbinder and Book Studies Historian, and Matthew Zimmerman, Independent Bookbinder. Bartels Seminar Room, Flynt Center of Early New England Life.
4:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Opening Reception. Lobby, Flynt Center of Early New England Life.
6:00 p.m. – 6:10 p.m. Welcome. John Davis, President, Historic Deerfield. Deerfield Community Center.
6:10 p.m. – 7:10 p.m. Keynote lecture: “By Hammer and Hand: The Rise of Arts and Crafts Metalwork.” Jonathan Clancy, Director of Collections and Preservation, The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms.
7:30 p.m. Dinner on your own or prix fixe dinner at the Deerfield Inn.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
8:30 a.m.–9:20 a.m. Registration, Coffee, and Refreshments. Deerfield Community Center.
9:20 a.m.–9:30 a.m. Welcome. Dan Sousa, Assistant Curator, Historic Deerfield.
9:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m. Lecture: “Madeline Yale Wynne: ‘Deft Hands So Skillful’.” Suzanne Flynt, Author of Poetry to the Earth: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Deerfield.
10:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m. Lecture: “Marblehead Pottery: ‘Different From Anything Else and Good Stuff’.” Marilee Boyd Meyer, Independent Consultant, Researcher, Author and Appraiser.
10:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Lecture: “Marrying Commerce to Education at Gustav Stickley's 1903 Exhibitions.” Bruce A. Austin, Professor, School of Communication, Rochester Institute of Technology.
11:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m. Break.
11:15 a.m.–11:45 a.m. Lecture: “The Provincetown Printmakers: A New Legacy.” Meghan Melvin, Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Curator of Design, Department of Prints and Drawings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m. Lunch, Deerfield Inn.
1:30 p.m-2:30 p.m. Free time. Tour historic house museums and the Flynt Center of Early England Life, or view the exhibitions The Garden of Hearts: Madeline Yale Wynne and Deerfield’s Arts and Crafts Movement at the Flynt Center and Skilled Hands and High Ideals: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Deerfield at the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association’s Memorial Hall Museum. At the Flynt Center, the museum displays decorative arts in its Collections Study Gallery and in several additional exhibitions: Celebrating the Fiber Arts: The Helen Geier Flynt Textile Gallery; Into the Woods: Crafting Early American Furniture; and Daniel Clay (1770-1848): Greenfield Cabinetmaker.
2:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Lecture: “‘To safely guard and preserve’: John E. Vandersloot’s Indian Steps Cabin and the Pan-Indian Movement.” Donald W. Linebaugh, Professor of Historic Preservation in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland, College Park.
3:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Lecture: “Craft as Cure: The Scott Sisters, Weavers of the Elverhoj Colony.” Leslie Melvin, Independent Researcher.
3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Break.
3:45 p.m.–4:15 p.m. Lecture: “Karl von Rydingsvärd: Baron of the Arts and Crafts.” Christopher Malone, Curator, American Swedish Historical Museum.
4:15 p.m.-4:45 p.m. Lecture: “Arts and Crafts, Grounds for Divorce.” Spencer T. Smith, Independent Researcher.
4:45 p.m. – Closing remarks.
5:00 p.m. - Dinner on our own or prix fixe dinner at the Deerfield Inn.