Artists and architects in America’s Northeast were significant contributors 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 has announced the acquisition of a masterpiece of Arts and Crafts furniture constructed by Madeline Yale Wynne (1847-1918), Deerfield’s leading proponent of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Known as Garden of Hearts, the chest, with finely crafted, forged, hammered, carved, and painted elements, was made in 1903 and 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 at 37 Old Main Street in Deerfield, Massachusetts. To mark the occasion of this important acquisition, Historic Deerfield’s Fall Forum will focus on the Arts and Crafts Movement in the northeastern region of the United States.
Historic Deerfield’s 2023 Fall Forum, The Arts and Crafts Movement in America’s Northeast, aims to address and celebrate this rich history by convening a group of experts in the field to explore the variety of artwork—from woodworking to metalwork—produced by urban and rural crafters.
Historic Deerfield invites paper proposals for its two-day forum exploring the history of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the northeastern United States. Priority will be given to paper submissions that present new research and explore topics in non-traditional ways.
Topics or themes might include, but are not limited to:
- Focused investigations of individual or small groups of objects (woodworking, ceramics, jewelry, metalwork, textiles, baskets, photography, printing, bookbinding, architecture, etc.)
- Explorations of the life and work of understudied or underrepresented New England artists
Preservation and Restoration
- Preservation and restoration of significant Arts and Crafts interiors and structures
Patronage and Support
- Patronage and support of Arts and Crafts communities and organizations
Arts and Crafts Ideology
- The legacy of Arts and Crafts ideology and its influence on succeeding or contemporaneous art movements
- The intersection of Arts and Crafts ideology and political and social philosophies
To submit a proposal send (as a single email attachment) a lecture title, a 250-word abstract that describes the lecture, and a one-page vita or biography to Dan Sousa, Assistant Curator and forum organizer, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Papers should be 25 minutes in length. Deadline for submissions is May 15, 2023.
Speakers whose papers are accepted will be given complimentary registration to the symposium, free lodging, and meals. The forum will convene in Deerfield, Massachusetts, as a hybrid program, with both on-site and virtual registration options for attendees. Speakers will be expected to present on site at Historic Deerfield.
Photo: Polychrome linen embroidery by Margaret Christine Whiting.