Historic Deerfield, Fall Forum



Historic Deerfield (84 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA 01342, Deerfield MA)

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 & Saturday, September 30