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Fall Forum: Coloring New England’s Past


September 13, 8:00 am
September 14, 5:00 pm
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Historic Deerfield
80 Old Main Street
Deerfield, MA 01342 United States
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Image: Pair of Women’s Shoes, England, ca. 1765.  Red-pink glazed, satin-weave wool (calamanco); unbleached plain weave linen; leather. Historic Deerfield, Museum Collections Fund Purchase with Funds Donated by James Ciaschini in Memory of his Mother Eva Ferioli, 2004.26

Historic Deerfield’s 2024 Fall Forum, Coloring New England’s Past aims to examine this topic by convening a group of experts in the field to explore the vast subject of color and its history. Historic Deerfield is home to one of the finest collections of New England architecture, interiors, and decorative arts of the 18th and 19th centuries. Rich in locally made and imported objects, the collection ranges widely from painted and japanned furniture, dyed, painted, and printed textiles, embroidered needlework and samplers, and paintings, drawings, painted prints and maps, and watercolors. The museum’s Library also features the superb collection of Stephen L. Wolf (1917-2008), composed of pamphlets, trade catalogs, periodicals, and ephemera dating from the late 1500s to the present including works on fine art, interior decoration, carriage painting, japanning, color theory, wall treatments, dyeing, enameling, glazing, theatrical set design, art restoration, varnishes, gilding, and the manufacture of paint. 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. Despite the pervasive misconception of drabness, New England embraced color as a mode of defining cultural differences and status.

Through lectures, workshops, and tours, participants will experience the latest scholarship and scholars on color and gain a better understanding of the role of color in New England material life.  A full schedule will be available this summer.

Registration coming soon.