© Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
Early in her career, Madeline Yale Wynne wrote to a friend, "I hate pretty work." More handsome than beautiful, Wynne's copper belt clasp features a row of naturally-shaped pebbles emerging from a luminous sea of copper. Evidence of the artist's hammer strikes ripple along the buckle's surface while loosely organized punch marks activate the whole. Wynne shared with the larger Arts and Crafts movement a passion for careful craftsmanship, and a concern that her ornamentation, as well as an understanding of the inherent nature of her materials, be integrated into an object's overall design. To a greater extent than most in the movement, however, Wynne's aesthetic places particular emphasis on revealing the creative process. This effort yields an immediacy and primitiveness all her own.