In Their Words

The Value of Half a Donkey

Read Aloud

She explained that the love for the unusual was as natural...as life itself and to illustrate she told the following story. "When we were children" she said for our nursery-table we had a set of little pictured-plates. Each plate had a border of little donkeys, loaded with food for good boys and girls to eat. They were pretty plates and dear to our childish hearts but one was more precious than all the rest. One plate had half a donkey in one place instead of a whole one "That plate we fought for, each of us wanted to eat from the plate with half a donkey, simply because it was different." Then she went on to say that this desire for the unusual, this craving for individuality in our belongings, was exactly what the artist and craftsman were striving to supply.
I think our clouds of bewilderment had rolled away when we came from this meeting and that we were all saying to ourselves "What can we do," What especially, can I do?

Eleanor Arms presentation on the Society of Deerfield Industries, handwritten transcript from the collection of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association.

During a talk about the Chicago Arts and Crafts movement, Madeline Yale Wynne inspired the women of Deerfield to express themselves through a craft. As founder and longtime President of the Society of Deerfield Industries, Madeline Yale Wynne held a central position in the Deerfield Arts and Crafts movement. In her interactions with the Deerfield craft workers, she consistently prized initiative and enthusiasm.