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Never before has the exhibition of paintings, held contemporaneously with the annual display of village industries at Deerfield, reached the high level of this year.

This is due to two causes, both of which hold much of promise for the future. In the first place the number of exhibitors has been increased and the new comers are men who have already achieved much in painting, in the second place the growth of the older exhibitors in Deerfield has been very great, both in expansion and in quality.

Conspicuous by their merit are the pictures by Willis Seever Adams. These have qualities so subtle and so rare that to praise them adequately would seem almost exaggeration, to say that Mr. Adams is a great painter is perhaps enough. Such feeling for tone, such sensitiveness to Nature's most delicate phases is given to few painters to express. Among his many gifts is that of making a large picture on a small canvas, No. 9, Rotenburg on the Tauber, and 10, Dawn, are striking examples of this. These pictures are so big in feeilng and in treatment that it is with surprise we realize they are scarcely two by five inches. The best of his contributions to this exhibition is No. 13, Dry Docks, Venice. In this there is real mastery in color, in design and in tone. Mr. Adams is a great acquisition to the group of Deerfield painters.

Ethelbert Brown is also a newcomer. Mr. Brown has painted several summers in Deerfield, but he shows his pictures this year for the first time in the Deerfield exhibition. Mr. Brown's large picture, No. 17, Connecticut River, is very handsome in design. It shows feeling for large form and is very decorative in intention. His small picture, No. 16, Connecticut Valley, is charming in color and in atmosphere quality. Another picture, not in the catalog of a river and hills and fantastic thunderheads is most interesting.

Elbridge Kingsley, whose reputation as a wood engraver is international, sends five landscapes of very unusual quality. Mr. Kingsley has a very strong feeling for color and he is an exception to the rule, that men who have worked in black and white all their lives have their color sense dimmed. In this particular, Mr. Kingsley is very alert and as a result of his active color perception and his inherent decoration feeling his pictures are most original and interesting. Perhaps the best of his contributions this year is No. 6, The Bend in the River. This is large in feeling and is treated with a great simplicity.

Augustus Vincent Tack contributes 10 portraits and a landscape. The latter, No. 3, Plum Blossoms, is in a different vein from the kind of landscapes he has been known by. There is a rawness perhaps in the green of the budding elms, but there is a spring feeling in the sky and an atmospheric envelope which is most pleasing. The portrait of Mrs. Mary P. Wells Smith is most distinguished in both idea and treatment. Mr. Tack has expressed a beautiful personality in this portrait. It seems almost typical of the purest qualities of the New England woman. The portrait of Miss Florence Stebbins is full of girlish charm and vivacity, the poise of the head is spirited, and the old rose gown and rich dark hair are beautiful notes in the color scheme. Mr. Tack's work is very sensitive both to the beauties of nature, and to all those shades of temperament and personality the true recording of which makes good portraiture.

Will Hutchins sends three landscapes, quite widely apart in range of observation and in treatment. No. 20, Winter Afternoon, is the best of these. This is a very original in motive and in breadth of conception. It is perhaps the best thing he has ever done. No. 19, The Vista, is a very formal presentation of some cedars through which a nymph is looking over across the hills. No. 21, The Island in the River, is a very successful rendering of the late twilight.

Ruel Crompton Tuttle contributes a decorative panel, No. 18, Midsummer Night's Dream. This is very fanciful indeed, the color is opalescent and the effect of the whole mysterious. It is fairy like in feeling. Mr. Tuttle's work has great refinement and feeling.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The Arts and Crafts Movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries thrived in Deerfield, Massachusetts, home to an annual show and sale of arts and handcrafts produced by town residents. In 1906 the show included artists whose paintings portrayed the beauties and phases of nature among other subjects, and took the exhibit of painting to new heights. Several exhibit artists that year were known nationally, if not also internationally. Two of the most well-known were Augustus Vincent Tack and Willis Seaver Adams (misspelled "Seever" in this newspaper report). Tack, whose wife was Agnes Gordon Fuller, daughter of Deerfield artist George Fuller, summered in Deerfield and wintered in New York City. He started as a portrait painter and later painted landscapes and abstracts. Adams was born in Suffield, Connecticut, and moved to Greenfield, Massachusetts (north of Deerfield) in 1906. Like Tack, Adams started as a portrait painter. After the turn of the century, he moved to painting haunting landscapes.


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"Deerfield Exhibit of Painting"

publisher   Greenfield Gazette and Courier
date   Jul 14, 1906
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
height   12.75"
width   2.25"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Article
accession #   #L02.038

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See Also...

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