© Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
E.M. Howard, paper print hand-tinted with watercolors, 1915.
The deliberate and understated choices made by the decorator of the Blue and White Society sales room accorded well with recommendations by Arts and Crafts proponents that consumers consider quality over quantity when making home purchases. As one article in the Craftsman magazine put it, "Should we not be better off, if we made bonfires of three quarters of the things in our houses? Is not one engraving, prized, studied and given the place of honor on the wall, worth a drawer full of photographs?"1 These and similar comments were made in response to a generation of American middle class homes filled with increasing amounts of inexpensive and often unevenly designed domestic goods that had been mass produced in factories. In the Blue and White Society sales room, such embroideries as the highly stylized Espaliered Rose, appliqued and embroidered onto a large door curtain, The Rose Tree, which hangs beside the fireplace, and a handwoven rag rug and door curtain, are displayed along with a few colonial-inspired furnishings, and several other carefully chosen and well-positioned decorative objects.