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The week has been one of unusual activity at Deerfield among the Crafts workers. A large number of out of town visitors going to and fro to the various places of exhibit of the annual show.

At Memorial hall the visitors come and go daily in large groups. On Wednesday more than 100 from the summer school at Amherst came up by special car.

Deerfield has more reason than ever to be proud of the solid achievements in craftsmanship that have made the historic old town a pioneer in new lines of art and industry. A thought and scholarship goes into these industries beyond any mere tricks of pretty handiwork. The designs this year show a feeling for color harmony much in advance of years before, a feeling that has no doubt been stimulated by study of Japanese color models, so strongly recommended by Mr. Tack in some of his recent lectures. The rugs in particular show this better developed sense. A tendency toward more imagination in design is also to be noted, as in the beautiful table covers done by Mrs. E. J. Hawks, showing dragon flies in effective drawing. Mrs. Andrews shows attractive rugs with dragon flies and bats, In the raffia, Mrs. Ashley is as usual the first, this year with a most elaborate and skilfully executed basket showing an old-fashioned garden. Those who follow closely the technique of the art were pleased by the combination of wide and narrow stitches by which Mrs. E. J. Hawks makes baskets that have a round bottom and square top. Rose bud designs in pink and green by Elizabeth Chamberlain were noteworthy, and Mrs. Amanda Belden of Mill River, and others are very skilful crafts women.

The palm leaf and willow and pine needle workers conduct one of the most successful of the Deerfield crafts, and have studied the past year more than ever to turn out work with the quality of permanence, so that a basket, ordinarily regarded, as fragile, shall take on the indestructibility of a family heirloom. Some trays made of reed with a bottom of California redwood have this quality. The thorough boiling which they give their reeds in fast color dyes gives them permanency. The pine needle work is in attractive contrast of green and brown, the green needles being picked fresh and dried in the dark, while the brown is picked dry. The willow wood baskets for kindling make a most effective adjunct to the fire on the hearth.

The Society of Blue and White Needlework shows some new work in color printing by Ellen Miller and M. C. Whiting. Madder is applied to the design, and the whole piece put in the dye pot. In the wash all the color comes out, save such as is set into the design by the madder. "Rabbits in the pea patch," was a particularly clever bit of work of this character. A collection of quaint cross stitch was most interesting.

Such a collection of painting as is gathered in the Crafts' barn is rarely assembled in a country town. It is very largely of landscape work, suggesting the inspiration in the meadows and hills of Franklin county, which has attracted so many clever men to this neighborhood. Willis Adams' pictures, take a prominent place, and interpret nature as seen in her most poetic moods. Will Hutchins, with a number of his effective pictures, is another nature lover under whose vigorous interpretation sky and hill speak with a voice that commands attention. There is something in Mr. Hutchins' painting that fascinates. You may or may not be able to see in sea or sky all that he sees. But his original and virile work calls the wandering eye, and translates the voices of mountain and wood in language that must be heard, forecasting a large future for this gifted artist. Augustus Vincent Tack is honored among our art lovers as one of the very cleverest painters whom the Deerfield valley has ever attracted, and has three notable canvasses. Elbridge Kingsley of Hadley, a veteran painter and engraver who has done so much to open the eye to the beauty of the Connecticut valley, Bruce Crane, with two paintings of romantic beauty, Spencer Fuller, of whose remarkable work one sees far too little, William O. Swett, Ethelbert Brown, and others have notable contributions.

The jewelry by Madeline Yale Wynne, Julian Yale, and Annie C. Putnam is in some respects the most exquisite craftsmanship of the whole Deerfield exhibit. Gold and silver and precious stones have an emphasis of light and color that very easily become florid and tawdry. These workers begin with mechanical deftness and attain the most harmonious handling of these gems of light and color.

The photographs by the Misses Allen have many new studies of our country life, besides many older photographs that have required a national fame.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The Arts and Crafts Movement began with a desire to revive the traditional crafts of yesteryear. After the turn of the 20th century, artists such as Will Hutchins, Augustus Vincent Tack and Willis Seaver Adams brought to Deerfield an academic understanding of color and structure and conveyed it to the craftspeople who then applied it to their work.


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"Art and Industry at Deerfield"

publisher   Greenfield Gazette and Courier
date   Jul 20, 1907
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
width   2.25"
height   16.0"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
accession #   #L02.101

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See Also...

"Original Deerfield Workers Show Skills at Crafts"

"Deerfield's Original Crafts Show Next Week"

"Expansion of Deerfield Arts and Crafts"

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