© Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
"Is there under the sun no good basket made?" Madeline Yale Wynne posed this question in an article appearing in Good Housekeeping in 1901. She was responding to commercially-made baskets which often seemed a mere excuse for ever present and superfluous, but eye-catching, decoration. "We find them," she writes, "decked out with extraneous ribbons and paper flowers...fluted, ruffled, pinched in, gathered, warped out of all normal shape..." So, Wynne mused, "where can we find a basket of fine, honest intent and beautiful make?"1 She recommended Deerfield, Massachusetts. The attractive but useful Blueberry Basket was fashioned of dyed reed by the Deerfield Basket Makers in 1913. While the piece does lack 'extraneous ribbons and paper flowers,' from its stable base and ample girth to its sturdy handle, the pleasing form of the Blueberry Basket is perfectly suited to its function. It was originally purchased in Deerfield by Catherine Pierce, then a student at nearby Smith College.