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Beside the Garden Path

<em>Beside the Garden Path</em>

© Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association

Set free by the artistic expression available through her craft, Eleanor Arms reveled in her work as a weaver. As she put it, "There is nothing more fascinating to my way of thinking than sitting down to a perfectly strung loom and building up something beautiful, with no pattern beyond the love for color harmony which is part of every weaver's natural equipment."1 Eleanor's aptly titled cotton, silk, and velvet table cover, Beside the Garden Path, features a luxuriant combination of textures, pattern, and rich earth-toned hues. Deerfield rug makers brought a modern sensibility to this traditional craft. As Eleanor expressed to potential customers, "Rag rugs are no longer made of heterogeneous scraps, the years' accumulation of cast off clothing, as in colonial days. Material is carefully selected and thoughtfully combined, so that even the hit-or-miss rug of our grandmothers--so often a "miss"--while losing none of its utilitarian qualities, has here become a glorified "hit," a thing of real artistic beauty..."2

  1. Eleanor M. Arms, Notes on Deerfield Industries for Cape Cod talk, May 25, 1929. Arms Family Papers, Box 10. PVMA Library.
  2. "The Society of Deerfield Industries 1921" (brochure), PVMA Library.

c. 1910
Eleanor M. Arms
H. 54.5" x W. 39"