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POETRY TO THE EARTH: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Deerfield

12" x 9", 240 pages, hard cover, 345 color, black and white images.
Authored by Suzanne L. Flynt with a foreword by Wendy Kaplan.
Co-published by Hard Press Editions in association with Hudson Hills Press.
ISBN: 978-1-55595-383-6

Images from POETRY TO THE EARTH:
The Arts and Crafts Movement in Deerfield.

Click for a larger image.

Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework, Rose Tree, c. 1905. Memorial Hall Museum, PVMA
Rose Tree
Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework, Rose Tree, c. 1905. Memorial Hall Museum, PVMA

Nims parlor 
Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework showroom in the Nims house, Deerfield, MA, c. 1915. Memorial Hall Museum, PVMA
Nims parlor
Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework showroom in the Nims house, Deerfield, MA, c. 1915. Memorial Hall Museum, PVMA

Balcony View from My Studio (1985), oil on paper, 14 x 17inches.
Women Embroidering
Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework embroiderers, photograph by Frances and Mary Allen, 1902. Memorial Hall Museum, PVMA


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POETRY TO THE EARTH:
The Arts and Crafts Movement in Deerfield

By Suzanne L. Flynt with a foreword by Wendy Kaplan.

Deerfield, Massachusetts played a pivotal role in the American Arts and Crafts Movement. The artistic and intellectual atmosphere of Deerfield, combined with its colonial history and picturesque surroundings, created an ideal environment for Arts and Crafts - a movement that encouraged a return to hand craftsmanship, simplicity of design, and honesty of materials.

Featured in this book are the contributions of the Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework, founded in 1896, and the Deerfield Society of Arts and Crafts (later the Deerfield Industries), established in 1901. Stories about individual crafters, and the production of their crafts are explored from embroidery with linen threads to the creation of furniture, metalwork, pottery, and woven textiles and baskets. The arts of photography and painting are also highlighted from the late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century Deerfield. The success of the Arts and Crafts movement in Deerfield was largely due to artists and designers Margaret Whiting and Ellen Miller, founders of Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework; Pictorial photographer Mary Allen; and artist and critic Madeline Yale Wynne, also co-founder of the Chicago Arts and Crafts Society.

The standard of excellence Deerfield craftsmen achieved in design, materials and workmanship was acknowledged by wide-reaching audiences in cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco. In recognition of their contributions, a 1903 article in Gustav Stickley's The Craftsman declared that "Deerfield is sending all over the country beautiful things...to bring back something of lost poetry to the earth."

With appeal to aficionados of American decorative arts, women's history, Colonial Revival, textile history and the Arts and Crafts movement, Poetry to the Earth is an extraordinary collection of stories about a rural village that created some of New England's finest examples of works of the hand. To learn more about the Arts and Crafts movement in Deerfield, Massachusetts, please visit www.deerfield-ma.org

The author, Suzanne Flynt, is Curator of the Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield, Massachusetts and author of the award-winning title, The Allen Sisters: Pictorial Photographers 1885-1920.

The foreword is written by Wendy Kaplan, Curator and Department Head, Decorative Arts and Design Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is one of the foremost scholars on the Arts and Crafts movement.