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The Village Broadside

The Blog of Historic Deerfield


Call for Papers: Coloring New England’s Past 

Interest in the history of color has been growing in recent decades, but few studies have examined color’s impact on specific cultural regions, such as New England. Historic Deerfield’s 2024 Fall Forum, Coloring New England’s Past (to be held in Deerfield on September 13-14, 2024) aims to address and examine this topic by convening a group of experts in the field to explore the vast subject of color and its history. Historic Deerfield invites paper proposals for its two-day forum. Submissions due by June 3, 2024.

Historic Deerfield Receives Gift of Rufus Porter Art

Image: Portrait Miniature of Sarah Hilliard. Attributed to Rufus Porter (1792– 1884) Cambridge, Massachusetts, ca. 1825. Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper. Gift of Juliene and Carl M. Lindberg 2023.8.10

This large-scale acquisition includes several components related to Rufus Porter’s career as an artist, inventor, and publisher. A significant portion of the gift comprises close to thirty miniature portraits attributed to Porter and illustrates his entire career as an artist.

Historic Deerfield Debuts Vermont Furniture Exhibition

Image: Blanket Box (c. 1825) from the workshop of Thomas Matteson. Eastern white pine and paint. Gift of Patricia Passmore Alley and F. William Alley (2023.9.10)

The recent recipient of a generous donation of Vermont furniture and related decorative arts from the collection of William and Patricia Passmore Alley, Historic Deerfield is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition, Vermont Furniture from the Alley Collection.

Call for Papers – 2024 Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife

The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife (founded in 1976) is pleased to announce the subject of its 2024 gathering, Into the Woods: New England Forests in Fact and Imagination, to be held at Historic Deerfield June 28-29, 2024. The seminar invites proposals for papers and presentations that address the rich and varied histories of the relationship between the peoples of New England and adjacent areas and their forests.

GALLERY: August Adventures

Historic Deerfield hosted a free-admission day on August 9th, in partnership with the Highland Street Foundation. Visitors of all ages came to enjoy lawn games, house tours, handcrafts, demonstrations, and more!

GALLERY: Wooly Wonders 2023

On May 20-21, 2023, Historic Deerfield hosted “Wooly Wonders,” a celebration of rare heritage breed sheep, textiles, and wool-processing in New England. Visitors came to see Lincoln Longwool, Shetland, and Merino sheep, as well as demonstrations of sheepdog herding, hand-shearing, spinning on historic wheels, and weaving.

Blue and White Needlework Table Scarf

About twenty-five Deerfield women were paid to embroider vegetable-dyed linen yarns on hand-spun linen cloth. If their work was of sufficient quality, a flax wheel with a “D” was embroidered on the piece by one of the two founders as a “seal of approval.” This table scarf is an example of Pattern No. 7: Shepherd’s Thistle. This scarf is made of unbleached linen cloth with linen embroidery threads with traditional Blue and White Society stitches, in three shades of blue, plus white, detailing the large thistle at each end of the scarf.