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Friday, November 30 2012

Heritage Holiday at Historic Deerfield

From a Historic Deerfield press release:

This December, visitors to Historic Deerfield will have several opportunities to capture the holiday spirit by joining Historic Deerfield hearth cooks, guides and educators in a month-long series of traditional festive activities, such as open hearth cooking demonstrations and hands-on "Giftmaking," while enjoying seasonal decorations hung throughout the historic Hall Tavern.  In addition, guests can register to have their likeness, or that of their child, "cut to order" by a renowned paper silhouette artist.

Silhouette Artist 

"We are particularly excited to welcome silhouette artist Lauren Muney. She will be here in period dress, interpreting the work of itinerant stencil artists who cut likenesses from paper using just a pair of scissors. With advance registration visitors will be able to have their silhouette cut from a piece of paper. This is a unique opportunity to see or participate in an early American art form, the product of which can be a special keepsake or one-of-a-kind holiday gift," said Amanda Rivera Lopez, Director of Museum Education and Interpretation.

Lauren Muney has been a professional artist, entertainer, producer, and consultant for over 30 years. Trained as an illustrator at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Lauren actually began her career as a historically-inspired entertainer at age 14. Her research and performances have taken her across the United States, Canada, Europe, and even China. These experiences have formed Lauren's unique interactive style. She transforms a commonplace event into a lively connection between the artist and the audience.

After studying historical forms of entertainment Lauren fell in love with the art of silhouettes and its place in history. There are only a handful of traditional silhouette artists in North America; Lauren is self taught and uses the fascinating method of the 18th and 19th century. As she cuts silhouettes freehand with only scissors, she talks about their history, the history of the time period, and gives the sitter the opportunity to ask questions. Lauren's approach to the art gives each sitter the chance to participate in history in a small way - and to take history home.

Lauren lives in Baltimore, Maryland and will be bringing the traditional silhouette experience to Historic Deerfield on December 8 & 9. Advance reservations to have your own silhouette done may be made at


December 1-30 (excluding December 24 & 25)

Open Hearth Cooking: Sugar and Spice Open Hearth Cooking

10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Visitor Center at Hall Tavern

Though today it is easy enough to go to the store for chocolate, citrus, cinnamon, ginger or sugar, in the past such ingredients were the expensive results of trans-oceanic trade.  The use of these ingredients during holiday times signified a willingness to splurge in honor of the occasion. Daily in December, Historic Deerfield hearth Cooks will explore the sugar and spice that make the holidays nice.  Included with general admission.

December 1-30 (excluding December 24 & 25)


12-4:30 p.m., Visitor Center at Hall Tavern

Those who need to make progress on their gift list will appreciate making a gift by hand. Visitors may choose one of three:  "woodland figures" made from natural materials, a paper quillwork ornament, or spiced hot Chocolate mix in a decorative package. This activity is included with general admission.

December 1-2, 8-9, 15-16

Horse-drawn Wagonrides

11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Included with museum admission.

December 8-9

Silhouettes by Lauren Muney

11 a.m.-4p.m.

People who wish to purchase their likeness as a silhouette should pre-register for their timeslot at Demonstration included with general admission.

About Historic Deerfield

Historic Deerfield ( is a nationally recognized museum offering tours of period houses and the Flynt Center of Early New England Life. Now featuring exhibitions:

    Furnishing the Frontier: The Material World of the Connecticut River Valley, 1680-1720 on view through February 17, 2013.
    Into the Woods: Crafting Early American Furniture, a long-term furniture exhibition.
    Engraved Powder Horns from the French and Indian War and the American Revolution: The William H. Guthman Collection, permanent.
    Celebrating the Fiber Arts: The Helen Geier Flynt Textile Gallery, a permanent exhibition with changing elements.

Please call 413-775-7214 for museum information and program schedule.

Museums10 is a dynamic collaboration that heightens awareness of the distinctive offerings of the individual institutions while highlighting the cultural diversity and outstanding educational resource that they collectively represent. Museums10 is facilitated by Five Colleges, Inc., which provides major administrative support for the partnership.  Museums10 includes: the Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst College; Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens; The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art; Hampshire College Art Gallery; Historic Deerfield; Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; Yiddish Book Center; Smith College Museum of Art; and the University Museum of Contemporary Art, UMass Amherst.  For more information, visit

A portion of Historic Deerfield's operating funds is provided through a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Historic Deerfield
80 Old Main Street, P.O. Box 321
Deerfield, Massachusetts 01342
T: 413-775-7127
F: 413-775-7220