Comparisons

Symmetry and Precision

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A comparison of Madeline Yale Wynne's 'Copper Belt Buckle' with the Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework's 'Grape Arbor' offers an opportunity to consider the varying approaches which Deerfield artisans took to the international Arts and Crafts aesthetic. As is often true of two-dimensional Arts and Crafts compositions, each of the Deerfield works bears a strong emphasis on symmetry and the mirroring of elements along horizontal, vertical and diagonal midlines. Deerfield artists placed particular emphasis on handwork, and each of these objects exemplifies the often-voiced call by Arts and Crafts proponents for the use of natural materials integrated with purposeful detail.

In other ways, however, the expressive content of Madeline Yale Wynne's work could not be more dissimilar from that of the Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework. Where Wynne's aesthetic emphasizes the process of creation, the Blue and White Society's designers focused their energy on controlling the creative process through precise designs and stitches, carefully trained needle workers and a thorough review of finished embroideries to ensure standard quality. Where Madeline Yale Wynne's work emanates a pleasing sense of spontaneity and abandon, the highly-rarefied work of the Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework emits a nearly opposite, but equally-pleasing sense of precision and refinement.

Left image: Copper Belt Clasp, Madeline Yale Wynne, Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association

Right image: Grape Arbor, Deerfield Society of Blue & White Needlework, Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association