Sunday, April 11, 2010

Weekend in Massachusetts Part II




A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that we went to an incredible museum in Deerfield, MA, the Flynt Center, and promised to share a few photos from our time there. For a small location the museum had an impressive collection of artifacts from the 1600s to the end of the 19th century.
The patron of the museum and co-founder of Historic Deerfield, Helen Geier Flynt, spent 60 years collecting artifacts, and her passion for early American is evident in this extensive collection.
The collection consists of lovely furniture, pottery, everyday articles and textiles. I was immediately drawn to the textile collection which presents examples of embroidery, woven silks, bed hangings, coverlets, quilts, costumes. It is amazing to think of the talents of our ancestors working with so many less materials, the value of those materials, and most importanly, light. I can't imagine working with a needle and thread with cold fingers by candle-light.

Obviously all pieces in the collection were behind glass and they were hard to photograph - I took so many pictures but unfortunately only a few turned out.
The shoes in the first photgraph were stunning however I can't imagine how impractical they were, not to mention uncomfortable! Aren't they just lovely though?


There were many articles of clothing, from beautifully and intricately detailed stitchings on muslin under clothes to heavy silks. I'm so disappointed that my least favorite piece of clothing, this green dress, was the only clear photograph. None the less, it is gorgeous, however I preferred the simpler clothing. It was so interesting to note the ever changing style of dress too. Much like our fashion is constantly changing, theirs was too.
The best, in my opinion, were the samplers and crewel work. The were incredible works of art. Just look at the detail in this piece and the one pictured with the shoes. It is amazing that the colors have remained as vibrant and intense as they have over the years, thanks to somone's careful preservation.

I hope I have an opportunity to go back and spend more time in the Flynt Center. If you are ever in western Massachusetts, I highly recommend a trip to Deerfield - you won't be disappointed.

6 comments:

Kathy said...

How awesome for you. I do want to visit the northeast at some point.

julie Haymaker thompson said...

When I took fine metalsmithing years ago at college .I was so enthralled and amazed at the fact that the ancient master did the most intricate of designs WITHOUT a torch !!! How did they do it !!! My conclusion is we are wimps, but lucky wimps!!

lilylovekin said...

My love would be the textiles also, the embroidery pieces are fantastic, I can't imagine what they look like in person. How lucky you were to get to see them.

dulcy said...

Sounds wonderful.....I love looking at all that kind of historic stuff that shows such an interesting glimpse of the past. Those shoes are just gorgeous, as is the dress and samplers. Thanks for sharing!

Lenae May said...

Beth!
What a wonderful trip!
I just bought a fashion book filled with vintage garments and they have similar shoes. The detail is ALWAYS amazing! I've seen vintage crewel work up close as well...with all attention to detail!!!
Lenae

Silke said...

Dear Beth, I've been missing you! How are you? Is everything alright for you?! Sending much love from hot Savannah!! Silke