About This Site
This website is about a collection of beautiful, useful objects that were created at a specific time in a special place by unusual group of people who were inspired by the ideas and ideals of the era. The site is organized to express the many strands that combined and intersected to form connections in this close knit group, resonating from object to object, and informed by the history of the place in which they were created.
The site is organized into five main categories: Treasures, People, Places, Ideas. The items in these categories are set in historical context in the Timeline. Each of these categories can be browsed by visually scrolling through the items that comprise them. Each type of item (treasure, person, place, or idea) can be explored in more depth, informed by the following features and information:
- photographs of the item, some with alternate views, details and zooming
- basic information about the item such as date, creator and dimensions.
- a descriptive label tells about the item; its history or influences or if it's a person, a little about his or her life.
- In Their Words is an audio feature that lets the visitor hear passages from letters, journals and newspapers written by the artists, craftsmen or journalists of the time.
- Comparisons shows two works of art side by side to best illuminate an aesthetic idea, an influence of style or subject matter, or a formal motif such as composition or color.
- Connections allows the visitor to explore the other treasures, people, places and ideas that are related to the item.
The Idea pages offer some historical and thematic context to the items, people and places and tell the visitor more about the concepts and events that helped shape the Arts and Crafts movement in Deerfield. Each Idea page is a short essay broken down into a sequence of image/text pages. The small thumbnail images advance the visitor through the sequence.
To gain an “at a glance” visual and conceptual overview of the site, the Site Catalog presents every item in the site. Clicking an image will show more information about that item.
There is also a Further Study page that offers a listing of books, places and websites to investigate for more information about the Arts and Crafts movement.
About PVMA and Memorial Hall Museum
The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association and its museum, Memorial Hall was awarded the IMLS Museums for America Grant in August of 2008 to produce an array of programs related to the Arts and Crafts Movement in Deerfield, Massachusetts. These programs include the writing and publishing of a book entitled Poetry to the Earth: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Deerfield; the reinstallation of Memorial Hall Museum's permanent Deerfield Arts and Crafts exhibit, and the creation of the Arts and Crafts Moment in Deerfield website.
Founded in 1870, the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association (PVMA) is one of the oldest history museums in America and its collections proved inspirational to Deerfield’s Arts and Crafts artisans of the early 20th century. PVMA’s mission is to preserve and communicate the multicultural history of the Connecticut and Deerfield River Valleys, a region stretching from Springfield, Massachusetts and the border of Connecticut, north to Vermont. PVMA collects, preserves, and exhibits historic artifacts and documents and interprets them in the wider context of regional, U.S., and world history.
PVMA was founded with the goal of “memorializing” the past. PVMA opened Memorial Hall in 1880 as the first historical museum in western Massachusetts. Now a regional historical society, PVMA is interested in the entire scope of New England history stretching from the ancestral peoples of the Pocumtucks to the mid-20th century, with diverse regional and national audiences. The PVMA library, jointly administered with Historic Deerfield, Inc., is a premier research facility.
PVMA offers a wide variety of programs including interpretive exhibits, living history events, publications, multi-faceted public and education programs, and web-based education and exhibit offerings. PVMA has exceptional expertise in historical website programs; it has created two award-winning websites, American Centuries: A View from New England, an educational website using historic documents and objects as a window into understanding American history, and Raid on Deerfield: The Many Stories of 1704, which has received accolades for its engaging and innovative approaches. PVMA is also home to the Deerfield Teachers’ Center.
PVMA’s collections include over 70,000 objects and documents spanning pre-history through the 20th century. Memorial Hall Museum has an extraordinary Deerfield Arts and Crafts collection representing all of the craft types created in Deerfield in the early twentieth century. The PVMA library holds a vast array of documentation, including photographs, diaries, scrapbooks, newspaper accounts, letters and manuscripts related to the Deerfield Arts and Crafts movement. The library holds nearly 25,000 printed books and pamphlets and 900 linear feet of manuscripts, which represent to an extraordinary degree, the life and thought of one region from the close of the 17th century to the opening of the 20th century.
We hope you enjoy exploring this website and would be happy to hear from you with questions or feedback about the site.
Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
10 Memorial Street, PO Box 428
Deerfield, Massachusetts 01342-0428
- Dr. Darlene Marshall, Content Director and Historian, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
- Juliet Jacobson, Design Director, DigitalGizmo
- Don Button, Technical Director, DigitalGizmo
- Suzanne Flynt, Consulting Scholar, author of Poetry to the Earth: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Deerfield
- Historic Deerfield, Inc.
- Library of Congress
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
- Penny Leveritt
- Amanda Merullo
- Stephen Petegorsky
- David Stansbury
We are grateful to Kirby William Brown for allowing us to reproduce photographs from his collection.
The members and donors of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association in Deerfield, Massachusetts.
The research, writing, and publishing of the Poetry to the Earth: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Deerfield book was underwritten by the International Music & Art Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This allowed for original material to be incorporated into the website content.
This website has been made possible by a Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which supports activities that strengthen museums as active resources for lifelong learning. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.