© Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
Like a pair of whimsical sentries guarding their realm, Margaret Whiting's 'hoopoo birds' perch at attention atop two column-like interpretations of pineapple plants. As these winged sentinels have been stitched onto a portiere, or door curtain, they aptly serve as cheerful agents of both domestic welcome and protection from drafty halls.
HooPoo Bird was among ninety-eight embroideries shown in Deerfield by the Blue and White Society in the summer of 1909. HooPoo Bird may have been one piece among many, but this large work of imagination and fancy was certainly not lost in the crowd. One local critic remarked, "on entering the crafts barn the eye is first caught by the door curtain with the striking 'Hoopoo Bird' design."1 The embroidery is prominently featured in Frances and Mary Allen's photograph of the 1909 Crafts Barn exhibition.