© Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
Bordered by a random, arrangement of short intersecting lines that recall bamboo shoots, the arrangement of substantial chrysanthemum blooms central to Madeline Yale Wynne's etched brass Chrysanthemum Bowl bring to mind Asian associations. First cultivated in China, the chrysanthemum became a favored subject of Japanese artists. Long before it was introduced to the West, the chrysanthemum was revered for the radiant color with which it would cloak the landscape in autumn. The flower eventually came to be associated with the Japanese Emperor. The fourth century Chinese poet T'ao Yuan-ming wrote of the chrysanthemum:
In the second month the peach tree blooms,
But not till the ninth the chrysanthemums;
So each must wait till his own time comes.1
Madeline Yale Wynne fashioned her Chrysanthemum Bowl out of brass in 1880. Metalwork would remain a medium of particular interest for Wynne, who seems never to have shied away from an art form. The artist was still working with brass in 1883 when her mother, Catherine Yale, wrote to a family friend, "I suppose Madeline has written you how busy she has been all summer, and now while I write she is in the stable! with her brass and her acids, and the express-man has just delivered another package of brass..."2 An Allen Sisters' photograph of the Chrysanthemum Bowl was published in a September 1899 edition of Harper's Bazar.